The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Brain Science and Visual Art

Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017 – Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017

06:30 PM – 07:30 PM


Presented by Aziz Shaibani, MD, FACP, FAAN, clinical professor of medicine, Baylor College of Medicine; director, Nerve and Muscle Center of Texas; and adjunct professor of neurology, University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC)

Aziz Shaibani explains, in simple terms, the magnificent power of the brain in relation to aesthetic experiences. The discussion touches on works of art such as the 19th-century watercolor of Nasir al-Din Shah on loan for the exhibition Bestowing Beauty: Masterpieces from Persian Lands.

Looking at the creation of art from the perspective of its effect on the brain, all artists are neurologists. The function of visual art is to provoke different sorts of emotions. These emotions are manufactured by the visual and other parts of the brain, all of which contribute to the creation of the aesthetic experience.

Figurative art usually provokes built-in, genetically wired mechanisms that evolved over millions of years for survival. However, the more abstract the art, the more the aesthetic experience is derived from personal experience and memory, triggering the engagement of cerebral areas. Art that utilizes different proportions of color, form, lines, and motion engages numerous innate and acquired brain tools to convey or make meaning.

This program is free! Drop in to participate. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Art of the Islamic Worlds/Rice Humanities Research Center Initiative
This public lecture is the first in a series organized by the Art of the Islamic Worlds curatorial team at the MFAH and Rice Humanities Research Center to foster deeper understanding of the visual arts and cultural heritage.


  • Tuesday - Wednesday, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
    Thursday, 10:00 am - 9:00 pm
    Friday - Saturday, 10:00 am - 7:00 pm
    Sunday, 12:15 pm - 7:00 pm
    Monday: Closed (Except Monday Holidays). Closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
  • General Admission: MFAH Members-FREE Adult-$15 ($14 Online); Senior (65+) $10 ($9 Online); Youth (13-18) $7.50 ($6.50 Online); Child (12 & younger) FREE; Military (ID Required) $10; Student (ID Required) $7.50 Ticketed exhibitions require an additional admission charge. Free Hours: FREE THURSDAY 10 am - 9 pm

Directions & Parking

  • Free Parking
  • Paid Parking
  • Street Parking
  • Make visiting a snap! Enlarge the map to see main-campus parking options, or download the PDF

    Parking update: A new underground parking garage, located on Montrose Boulevard, is now open!

    • The outdoor parking lot on Bissonnet, across from the Law Building, is closed permanently.
    • Parking is available in two garages: an above-ground garage at 1144 Binz Street, and a new underground garage at 5101 Montrose Blvd.
    • Guests with limited mobility: We recommend that you use the covered drop-off lane at the Main Street entrance to the Beck Building, or use wheelchair-accessible parking in the garage at 1144 Binz Street.

    Parking Garage Locations

    • 1144 Binz Street
    • 5101 Montrose Boulevard

    Parking Fees*

    Parking payments may be made only with a major credit card. Also accepted: MasterCard and Visa debit cards.
    MFAH Members Visitors
    0–30 minutes FREE FREE
    31 minutes–4 hours $6 $10
    4–12 hours $10 $18
    12–24 hours $35 $35
    *Parking is free for MFAH visitors who enter the Museum between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Thursdays. General admission to the Museum is free on Thursdays, courtesy of Shell.


    Both parking garages are open daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Special Offers / Dining

Paolo Fronza, from Fellini Caffè, runs this sophisticated dining operation. Enjoy an array of Italian-inspired fare with a Texas flair, a European-style coffee bar, a kids menu, and much more at the MFA Café, located on the lower level of the Beck Building.

Events at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

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