The Neuroscience of Narrative

February 1, 2024 • 5:30 – 7 PM TAC Main Gallery • $10

If you are a student OR need financial assistance to attend this event, please contact claire@theartscenter.net for a discount code.

Exhibiting artist, Jeff Leake & company share the neuroscience behind how the human brain creates meaning from narrative at this interactive lecture.

ABOUT: At this event, The Neuroscience of Narrative, artist Jeff Leake joins Dr. Bill Griesar (PSU, OHSU, NWNoggin) to present the biology that underlies how humans create meaning through narrative. Storytelling in combination with sensory and past experience profoundly shapes human’s understanding of the world. This suggests that our brain constantly makes predictions about the world. In Leake’s work, he explores the interplay between cultural narratives and human relationships to encourage a nuanced understanding of human interaction and storytelling. A creative activity and brain specimens are included in this unique presentation.

Jeff Leake is a Portland, OR-based artist who holds a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and an MFA from UC Davis. Leake’s art delves into the intersections of culture, nature, and human behavior, bridging the contemporary with ancient influences. His work explores cultural paradigms governing human lives, blending historic imagery, cultural archetypes, and observed landscapes to create complex visual narratives. Influenced by Bruegel, Bosch, and his childhood science and history illustrations, his art blurs the lines between history and fantasy, revealing the intricate connection between humanity and the natural world. Leake teaches at Portland State University and is a co-founder of NW Noggin. He has received national and international recognition through grants and awards including the Arte Laguna Prize & Ford Foundation Golden Spot award.

Dr. Bill Griesar is an Assistant Professor in Psychology and Interdisciplinary Neuroscience at Portland State University. He is an Adjunct Instructor in University Studies and Affiliate Graduate Faculty in Behavioral Neuroscience at OHSU. Griesar has a bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience from Brown University and a doctorate in Behavioral Neuroscience from Oregon Health & Science University. He is a co-founder of the interdisciplinary neuroscience nonprofit NW Noggin which engages over 60,000 K-12 students and community members in brain and art discussions.

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