Edward A. Vessel, PhD

Main Research Areas

    • The neural basis of aesthetic experience
    • Visual preferences
    • The neurobiology of information foraging
    • Brain imaging methods



      1997 – 2004         PhD (Neuroscience), The University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

      1993 – 1997         Bachelor of Arts (Cognitive Science), The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD


      2016 -                    Research Scientist, Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics

      2014 - 2015          Full Research Scientist, Center for Brain Imaging, New York University, New York, NY

      2010 - 2015          Co-Director, NYU ArtLab

      2009 - 2014          Assistant Research Scientist, Center for Brain Imaging, NYU

      2011                      Adjunct Professor, Dept. of Psychology, NYU

      2008 - 2009          Research Consultant for Nava Rubin, Center for Neural Science, NYU, and Denis Pelli, Dept. of Psychology, NYU

      2007 – 2008         Adjunct Lecturer, Depts. of Psychology and English, NYU

      2004 - 2007          Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Center for Neural Science, NYU, Advisor: Nava Rubin





      Belfi, A.M., Vessel, E.A., Starr, G.G. (2017). Individual ratings of vividness predict aesthetic appeal in poetry. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts. Advance online publication http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/aca0000153

      Vessel, E. A., Biederman, I., Subramaniam, S., & Greene, M. R. (2016). Effective signaling of surface boundaries by L-vertices reflect the consistency of their contrast in natural images. Journal of Vision, 16(9), 15-15. doi: 10.1167/16.9.15. http://journalofvision.org/16/9/15

      Vessel, E. A. (2015) Effects of reduced sensory stimulation and assessment of countermeasures for sensory stimulation augmentation. Draft Report. Houston (TX): National Aeronautics and Space Administration (US). 173 p. Contract No.: NNJ13HF11P.

      Vessel, E. A., Stahl, J., Maurer, N., Denker, A., Starr. G.G. (2014) Personalized visual aesthetics. Proc. SPIE 9014, Human Vision and Electronic Imaging XIX, 90140S, 1-8. doi: 10.1117/12.2043126.

      Vessel, E. A., Starr, G.G., Rubin, N. (2013) Art reaches within: aesthetic experience, the self and the default-mode network. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 7:258, doi: 10.3389/fnins.2013.00258. http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2013.00258

      Vessel, E. A., Starr, G.G., Rubin, N. (2012) The brain on art: Intense aesthetic experience activates the default mode network. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 6:66, doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2012.00066. http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2012.00066

      Vessel, E. A., & Rubin, N. (2010). Beauty and the beholder: Highly individual taste for abstract, but not real-world images.  Journal of Vision, 10(2): 18, 1-14, journalofvision.org/10/2/18, doi:10.1167/10.2.18.

      Yue, X., Vessel, E. A., & Biederman, I. (2007) The neural basis of scene preferences.  NeuroReport, 16(6), 525-529.                        

      Biederman, I. & Vessel, E. A. (2006) Perceptual pleasure and the brain. American Scientist, 94, 249-255.

      Awards & Grants

      Awards & Grants

      2014 – 2016        Beauty and Beyond Research Institute, Global Institute for Advanced Studies, NYU

      2013 – 2014        Sensory stimulation augmentation tools for long duration exploration spaceflight, NASA

      2013                     Panelist, World Science Festival

      2003 - 2006         Postdoctoral NRSA award (NEI)

      2001 - 2003         Predoctoral NRSA Traineeship: USC Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience Training Grant

      2001                     Fellow at the Dartmouth Summer Institute in Cognitive Neuroscience