New Warburg project at the intersection of sciences and humanities

World expert on psychology and cognitive neurosciences Professor Manos Tsakiris has been named as the first recipient of the Nomis Foundation Award for Distinguished Scientists and Scholars and will lead and develop the Body and Image in Arts and Sciences (BIAS) project at the Warburg Institute, part of the University of London’s School of Advanced Study.

A recipient of the 2014 Young Mind and Brain Prize and of the 22nd Experimental Psychology Society Prize, Professor Tsakiris, is currently professor of psychology at Royal Holloway University of London. The BIAS project is a major investment by the Nomis Foundation and involves him building a research team and neuroscience lab hosted at the Warburg Institute.

The research will build on his highly inter-disciplinary approaches – also an integral aspect of the institute – which uses a wide range of methods to investigate the neurocognitive mechanisms that shape the experience of embodiment and self-identity.

The BIAS project aims to address timely research questions at the intersection of sciences and humanities. ‘Its particular focus will be on the biological mechanisms and cultural factors that shape our relations to other people in a culture powered by images,’ said Professor Tsakiris. In line with Warburg director Professor David Freedberg’s commitment to building bridges across the boundaries between the humanities, arts and sciences, BIAS will seek to forge new and innovative synergies across the disciplines.

Professor Tsakiris studied psychology at Panteion University, Athens, and philosophy at King’s College, London before completing his PhD in psychology and cognitive neurosciences at UCL’s Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience. He has published widely in multidisciplinary and neuroscientific journals. His research has attracted much interest from the scientific community and from the media, appearing in major international news channels.

‘In bringing together a unique range of methodological techniques and procedures, Professor Tsakiris and his team will contribute – thanks to the generosity of Nomis – to a new and unprecedented expansion of Aby Warburg’s vision of a deeper knowledge of the role of biology in the understanding of culture and cultural history,’ said Professor Freedberg.