Culture and Health - In Praise of Beauty


Institutional Communication Service

30 November 2021

The lecture series dedicated to "Culture and Health", the course of USI Faculty of Biomedical Sciences, open to the public and carried out in collaboration with the City of Lugano Arts Department and IBSA Foundation for Scientific Research continues. The sixth lecture will be held on Monday, 29 November 2021, focusing on the theme " In Praise of Beauty Neuroaesthetics: the neurobiological basis of beauty".

The lecture will be introduced and moderated by Prof. Enzo Grossi, author of the book " Cultura e salute, la partecipazione culturale come strumento per un nuovo welfare". The guest speaker will be Luca Ticini, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, Webster Vienna Private University, who will give an introductory key-note speech to present the lecture's theme. The presentation will provide the cue for exchange between Fabio Pusterla, Poet, Translator and Essayist, and Andrea Alimonti, Professor of Oncology, Università della Svizzera italiana.

The encounter will take place from 6 pm to 7:30 pm in the Lugano East Campus multipurpose room.

No registration is required to attend the course.

Please note: Access with Covid certificate (16 years and older), mask compulsory.


Lesson content

Recent studies, using advanced visualisation techniques of brain activity such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), have shown how art stimulates in our brains some brain areas involved in the feeling of reward and well-being, thus generating a biochemical response very similar to that measured when falling in love. These results show how aesthetic pleasure, desire and well-being are closely interconnected from the neurobiological point of view and suggest how art and cultural participation can be beneficial against anxiety and depression.


Luca Ticini

Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, Webster Vienna Private University. President of the Italian Society of Neuroaesthetics "Semir Zeki". He has collaborated with several research institutions, including Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research, Tübingen; Max Planck Institute, Leipzig; Ecole Normale Superieure and Hospital Salpetriere, Paris; University College, London. He is Scientific Director of the Cultural Association "Neuroesthetic zone".


Fabio Pusterla

Poet, translator and essayist, he teaches Italian language and literature at the Cantonal High School and Università della Svizzera italiana, Institute of Italian Studies (ISI). He has collaborated with the University of Geneva and was one of the founders of the literary magazine "Idra". He contributes to newspapers and magazines in Switzerland and Italy.


Andrea Alimonti

Full Professor of Oncology at Università della Svizzera italiana, Director of the Laboratory of Molecular Oncology at the Institute of Oncology Research in Bellinzona and of the Laboratory of Molecular Oncology at the Istituto Veneto di Medicina Molecolare in Padova, Full Professor of Experimental and Translational Oncology at ETH Zurich and Full Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Padova.


In Praise of Beauty - University course Cultura e Salute 2021