About Us

We are a multidisciplinary team of neuroscientists, engineers, health professionals, artists and students working at the intersection of the arts, sciences, engineering, technology, medicine, and education and in developing trans-disciplinary approaches to the study of brain dynamics in action and context, innovation, creativity, aesthetic experiences, emergence of intent and emotional intelligence, emotional buildings and sensing spaces, art therapy, STEAM education, as well as the latest wearable high-definition brain-body technologies to uncover the relations between perception, cognition and action and brain activity across the life span. Our work is funded by NSF, NIH, VA, Mission Connect, Cullen Foundation and others and supported by the biomedical industry.

The Brain on Arts study is funded by the National Science Foundation (#BCS 1533691) and is led by engineering professor Jose Luis Contreras-Vidal — to study connections between the brain and creativity, expression, and the perception of art.

Team

Dr. Contreras-Vidal

Dr. Contreras-Vidal

Jose Luis Contreras-Vidal is a Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Houston. Dr. Contreras-Vidal’s research focuses on neural, cognitive and rehabilitation engineering, and development of noninvasive brain-machine interface (BMI) and other human-machine systems to restore or assist movement in clinical populations with upper and lower-limb disabilities. His laboratory has pioneered the development of noninvasive neural decoding methods based on scalp EEG and closed-loop BMIs to robotic exoskeletons and prosthetic limbs to restore motor function in individuals with spinal cord injury, stroke, and limb amputation. He has also developed experimental and computational approaches to acquire brain activity in ‘action and in context’ in complex real settings.

Jesus

Jesus

I am currently enrolled in the PhD program in Electrical Engineering, focusing on Neuro-engineering, at the University of Houston. My research involves classification and decoding of non-invasive Electroencephalographic (EEG) signals. My passion and long-term career goal is to create knowledge and technology that positively affects the lives of millions of people. My objective is twofold: 1) To promote quality multidisciplinary education access equality; and 2) To develop technology and a knowledge base that lead to improvements in quality of life, through scientific research.
Akshay

Akshay

I am a Ph.D. graduate student at the University of Houston. My research involves classification and decoding of non-invasive Electroencephalographic (EEG) signal using different machine learning and deep learning techniques. I am in search of understanding the engineering and spiritual meaning of human existence. I aspire to setup a research environment aiming at bringing innovation in the fields of healthcare, education and spirituality through technology, taking inspiration from nature’s design.

Andrew

Andrew

Andrew’s PhD research involves developing systems that use scalp electroencephalography (EEG) to control robotic hand prostheses for restoring motor control to amputees. His research interests include enhancing user friendliness and neural feedback in brain imaging devices. His contributions to the Brain on Art projects in the University of Houston include developing user interfaces of brain imaging devices for public outreach, programming interfaces that allow users to control the environment through neural signals, and surveying mobile brain imaging devices currently on the market.

Press

Contreras-Vidal is now also engaged in the emerging discipline of neuroaesthetics, which combines neuroscience with the study of art, creative movement and perception……

…At the end of the day, it’s about a powerful system to understand peoples’ actions.

The dancer. The neuroscientist. The skull cap : What goes on in a dancer’s brain?

The dancer. The neuroscientist. The skull cap : What goes on in a dancer’s brain?

When it comes to art, beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but some scientists now are looking for it in bursts of brain waves.

Researchers Observe Effects of Art on the Brain

Researchers Observe Effects of Art on the Brain

“Maybe in 10 years or so, we will have neural technology just like our smart phones; you can wear it and contribute to science,” Contreras Vidal says. “You can provide data that can be mined, whether you’re an engineer, or a doctor, or an artist trying to create something new.

At the intersection of neuroscience and art

At the intersection of neuroscience and art

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