Workshop: Medieval Mental Images and Neuroscience – Interdisciplinary Encounters

The ability to see images before “the inner eye” was theoretically discussed in scholastic writings as well as critically presented in literary texts in the Middle Ages. Mental images such as visions, daydreams, and sleep dreams played an important role in epistemological processes, religious experiences, and artistic disputes on the question of truth discovery and representation.

Despite their importance for historical understanding of the human brain, however, medieval concepts of “inner vision” remain under-researched. Can recent insights from the neurosciences help to open up the medieval sources in a new way? And conversely, can ideas from the Middle Ages inspire innovative experiments in the neuropsychological field? The workshop, organized by Racha Kirakosian, addresses these questions by bringing together scientists from the fields concerned for interdisciplinary discussion.


  • Dr. Thomas Âgren, Uppsala Universitet
  • Jun.Prof. Dr. Eva von Contzen, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
  • Prof. Dr. Isabelle Dolezalek, Universität Greifswald
  • Prof. Martin Dresler, Radboud University Nijmegen
  • PhD candidate Jonas Hermann, Harvard University Cambridge
  • Prof. Karin Jensen, Karolinska Institutet Stockholm
  • Dr. Lara Keuck, Max Planck Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte Berlin
  • Prof. Dr. Racha Kirakosian, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg and Fellow 2021/2022 by the Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Hamburg
  • Marieke McKenna, Nijmegen
  • Prof. Dr. Michael Stolz, Universität Bern, currently Fellow at the Alfried Krupp Wissenschaftskolleg Greifswald
  • Katja Wiech, University of Oxford