Visualizing the Brain: Re-conceptualizing Selfhood, Desire and Sexuality through Neuroimaging.

Biomedical Transformations of Life: Knowledge, Learning and the Rise of Biocitizens

A Collaborative Series of International Seminars and Workshops Jointly Organized by the Genetics
and Democracy (GaD) Network
, Lund University and the Learning and Media Technology Studio
, University of Gothenburg

Visualizing the Brain:
Re-conceptualizing Selfhood,Desire and Sexuality through Neuroimaging

An International Seminar to be held at the Pufendorf Institute, Lund University,
Biskopsgatan 3, Lund, 7th October 2011, 13.15–16.30

Neuroimaging enjoys an increasing prominence, not only among medical doctors, neuroscientists
and philosophers, but also in society at large. Brain images are claimed to provide windows into the
living brain and to provide new understandings of the foundations of human needs, drives,
behaviour, and perceptions of selfhood. In this seminar, research from two on-going projects will be
presented and discussed. The first, Picturing the Brain, is seeking to deepen our understanding of
socio-cultural and ethical issues that arise in relation to current applications of brain imaging, the
second, Brain Desires, asks what happens with cultural notions of human desires and sexuality
when these are studied with neuroimaging experiments.

Invited speakers:

Aud Sissel Hoel, Associate Professor of Visual Communication, Department of Art and Media
Studies, Norwegian University of Science and Technology

The project is interdisciplinary and investigates the persuasive force of neuroimaging against the
background of the current overwhelming demand for brain images. This includes exploring the ways that
neuroimaging reframes the brain-mind relationship, fostering deep changes in how humans perceive

Isabelle Dussauge, Associate Professor, Department of Thematic Studies – Technology and Social
Change, Linköping University

The project explores the neuroimaging experimental science of sex. It attends to experimental dispositifs, the political
esthetics of brain images, and the ties to brain research on other human pleasures. I suggest that in its current use,
neuroimaging participates in a re-orientation of the human towards “a neural economy of desire” which re-defines the
world of social interactions.

For further details concerning this event and forthcoming seminars in the Biomedical
Transformations of Life series please contact:

Max Liljefors Hans Rystedt (LETStudio)
Dept of Arts and Cultural Sciences Dept of Education, Communication and Learning
Division of Art History and Visual Studies University of Gothenburg
Lund University


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