The network was founded in 2012, with the aim of connecting researchers from around the world who share interests in the arts, humanities and the contemporary cognitive sciences, and to take the emerging subfield in new directions aided by the stimulus of annual conferences. Led by Dr Peter Garratt (Durham University), it had an original advisory board whose members were:

Prof. Philip Davis (University of Liverpool)

Dr Joanna Gavins (University of Sheffield)

Dr Ian Henderson (King’s College London)

Prof. David Miall (University of Alberta)

Dr Lisa Otty (University of Edinburgh )

Dr Merja Polvinen (University of Helsinki)

Prof. Alan Richardson (Boston College)

Prof. Andrew Roberts (Dundee University)

Prof. Ellen Spolsky (Bar Ilan University)

Prof. Peter Stockwell (University of Nottingham)

Prof. Mark Turner (Case Western Reserve University)

Prof. Patricia Waugh (Durham University)

Prof. Michael Wheeler (Stirling University)


The network continues to be guided by the following intellectual aims:

(1) To evolve new critical understandings of literature, art, film, and culture in a wider sense, through engagement with the cognitive sciences

(2) To assess how concepts from the cognitive sciences (including ‘post-classical’ and embodied or 4E cognitive science) can in turn be approached using the analytical methods of arts and humanities researchers

(3) To find routes beyond the familiar nature/culture opposition whose legacy can be identified with the traditional and ongoing segregation of scientific and aesthetic knowledge.