Tirtha Prasad Mukhopadhyay
Associate Professor, Digital Arte y Empresa, Universidad de Guanajuato, Campus Irapuato-Salamanca, Mexico.
Students of literary arts and narrative are not directly connected with issues in cognitive science. But there seems to have been a resurgence in fields of study implicating the deep structures of cognition and creativity. The benefits of this study ripple across diverse disciplines including formulation of assessment systems for creative education to deriving metrics for consumer behavior and marketing for a radically transforming global economy. I cannot go into the details of this profoundly interesting and potentially explosive aspect of cognitive studies here but one could try to point out emerging possibilities about human cognition and its relationship to artistic practice. We shall accept a more functionalist definition for the arts here, as referring to objects or expressions which induce heightened attention, formal execution and manipulation of elements of fantasy for a broader (or specific) outreach. We should be able to see that not all divisions of cognitive science are accessible for a literateur or critic of the arts. I am inclined to believe that someone engaging with humanistic disciplines for a long period of time would find specifically “Cognitive Psychology” to be a very valuable tool for assessing how narrative or visual signals are processed for the kind of effects peculiar to the arts. Of course numerous studies have already been initiated by semiotic theorists and linguists, but there are other things, especially “affect” with which one might engage. I do not know if the more visceral studies initiated by some scholars in the United States are of much help, and whether cognition can at all be applied to criticism, rather than creativity. At this stage, and at the stage which one may be reasonably supposed not to transgress, we could perhaps seek – even to the point of excess or obsession- an explanation in our brains and psyche, of the long, complicated and curious phenomenon of the artist.