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Invited Speakers

Elvira Brattico

Aarhus University, Denmark (Personal website

Elvira Brattico received her PhD in Psychology from the University of Helsinki in 2006 and worked as a lecturer and post-doctoral researcher at the Finnish Center of Excellence for Interdisciplinary Music Research, Universities of Jyväskylä and Helsinki. Since 2011 she has been Senior Researcher and Executive Board Member of the Cognitive Brain Research Unit, and Principal Investigator of the ‘Neuroaesthetics of Music Group’ at the Institute of Behavioural Sciences, University of Helsinki. Since June 2015 she is Professor of Neuroscience, Music and Aesthetics at the Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University, and Group Leader at a new center of excellence funded by the Danish National Research Foundation dedicated to music neuroscience research, the Center for Music in the Brain, MIB affiliated to the Aarhus University and Royal Academy of Music Aarhus/Aalborg, Denmark.

Her research interests cover the neuroaesthetics of music and its potential clinical applications. In a number of publications she has focused especially on neuroplasticity induced by music and individual differences in auditory processing.

Zaira Cattaneo

University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy (Personal website)

Zaira Cattaneo received her PhD in Psychology in 2006 from the University of Pavia, where she also worked as a postdoctoral researcher until 2008. She also worked at the Helmholtz Institute in Utrecht University (NED), at the University of Rochester (US), and at Harvard Medical School (US). Currently, she is research scientist at the Department of Psychology, University of Milano-Bicocca and member of the Cognitive Neuroscience and TMS Laboratory of the Brain Connectivity Center, IRCCS Mondino in Pavia. In 2015 she received the Paul Bertelson Award from the ESCOP (European Society of Cognitive Psychology) for her significant contributions as a young scientist.

Her research focuses on neural correlates of perceptual and cognitive functions with a special focus on visual impairments, but also aesthetic appreciation. Using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) her laboratory has been one of the first to show that directly manipulating activity in the brain influences how people evaluate art.

Stefan Sagmeister

Sagmeister & Walsh Inc., USA (Personal website)

Stefan Sagmeister is a New York based designer and typographer. He studied graphics and design at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna and at the Pratt Institute in New York. In 1993 he founded his own agency, Sagmeister Inc. in New York which in 2012 became Sagmeister-Walsh.  

Stefan Sagmeister is especially known for his design of album covers for Lou Reed, OK Go, The Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, etc. His work has earned him six Grammy nominations and two Grammy Awards. With his studio, he also currently designs branding, graphics and packaging for clients such as HBO, The Guggenheim Museum, and Time Warner. He has received a number of awards for his work, including the National Design Award (2005), and the Lucky Strike Designer Award (2009). His work is also featured in a number of exhibitions, with The Happy Show, currently on show in Vienna until Spring 2016, being the most recent.

Norbert Schwarz

University of Southern California, USA (Personal website)

Norbert Schwarz is Provost Professor in the Department of Psychology and Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, and co-founder of the USC Dornsife Mind & Society Center. He received a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Mannheim, Germany (1980) and a “Habilitation” in psychology from the University of Heidelberg, Germany (1986). Prior to joining the University of Southern California he was the Charles Horton Cooley Collegiate Professor at the University of Michigan (1993-2013), where he held positions in the Institute for Social Research, the Department of Psychology, and the Ross School of Business. He previously taught psychology at the University of Heidelberg, Germany (1981-1992) and served as Scientific Director of ZUMA (now GESIS), an interdisciplinary social science research center in Mannheim, Germany (1987-1992).

Norbert Schwarz has been a recipient of numerous honors and awards, including election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the German National Academy of Science, the Wilhelm Wundt Medal of the German Psychological Association and the Wilhelm Wundt-William James Award of the American Psychological Foundation and European Federation of Psychologists’ Associations.

His research focuses on the context sensitivity of human judgment and decision making, which he explored in different areas, including public opinion, consumer behavior, well-being, and aesthetics. His work highlights the interplay of declarative and experiential information in these domains, including the role of moods, emotions, and metacognitive experiences. His publications have been cited more than 53,000 times, with an h-index of 105.

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