Stories of Transformation Between the Plastic Arts and Neurosciences
Project Diary: The Artist in the Neuroscience Lab
The day that ceramicist Amanda Doidge and philosophy researcher Benjamin Dalton stepped foot in the laboratory of the Maurice Wohl Neuroscience Institute
Many conversations were had when Amanda and I spent the afternoon with Dr Sandrine’s team of neuroplasticity researchers at the Maurice Wohl Clinical Neuroscience Institute. Questions ranged from the scientific to the personal, from the artistic to the political. We looked down microscopes, studied images of neurogenesis, observed stem cell cultures, and talked ceramics.
How do scientists measure plasticity?
What does the concept of “form” mean to science?
Why does life have to take “form”? Is life possible without “form”?
Does (neuro)plasticity only ever describe healthy, helpful processes of evolution and development, or can “bad”, pathological processes also be described as “plastic”?
I am a PhD candidate in French at King's College London. I am interested in how contemporary French philosophy dialogues with the biological sciences. My thesis, 'The Coming of Plasticity: Narrating Transformation in Contemporary French Thought, Literature and Film', explores the work of the contemporary French philosopher Catherine Malabou on the concept of 'plasticity' in relation to literary and filmic narratives of bodily metamorphosis.
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