Neurosciences and museum - Museum visit as inclusive, embodied and transformative experience

Open Access
Conference Proceedings
Authors: Michela BenenteValeria MinuccianiAnnamaria Berti

Abstract: Following their previous writings and research works, Authors describe very recent experimentations at Museo Nazionale Etrusco di Villa Giulia (Rome) devoted to study the visitors’ behavour and to verify the effectiveness of inclusive and multisensorial communication.Starting from the assumption that access and accessibility to Cultural Heritage are not simply intended as physical approach, and they happen when individuals “appropriate” and “transform” cultural contents, this paper shortly discusses the “Emotion Museology” principles, according to which what moved visitors will be particularly remembered by them, processed and transformed, becoming a very personal asset.Emotions, although difficult to define, are an important element in cognitive processes and are inclusive, as each visitor can empathise with objects and stories. The innovative experiment described by Authors has been conducted in a museum environment with the aid of techniques for detecting the neurophysiological factors of visitors during a visit: a number of experiments have been carried out in recent years on perception mechanisms of a neuro aesthetic nature, but not to indagate the spatial cognition and the role of “atmospherical” conditions.Searching for what all audiences have in common, and not what divides and differentiates them, emotions answer to objects, spaces and communicative stimuli proposed by museums (captions, context, relations). Conversely, differences have also to be considered and “celebrated” as a humanity’s treasure. Then, emotional stimuli can originate very different responses, assuring intimate and individual appropriation processes. From this point of view, the research team aims to relate unconscious responses with cognitive processing of contents: pre visit expectations and “bias” and post visit feedback can support an integrate interpretation of data.In this perspective, and following the seven “Design for All” principles, can be updated referring to cultural accessibility and inclusion, overcoming and abandoning the unrealistic goal of guaranteeing the same experience for different publics, but rather aiming to ensure a fulfilling, lasting and transformative experience for all.

Keywords: Multisensorial communication, Emotions' Museology, cultural appropriation, cognitive responses

DOI: 10.54941/ahfe1003333

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