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Alexander Denker

BA '13 - The Neuroscience of Art

“I did not want to push my passions aside while exploring how we think about and why we enjoy various art forms,” says photographer and musician Alexander Denker. "I felt connected to Gallatin’s learning philosophy the moment I heard about the school.”

The Chicago native built his concentration, The Neuroscience of Art, around the coursework of an NYU neuroscience major and classes in the humanities dealing with the cultural theory of art and music. He also took advantage of Gallatin art workshops and took two independent studies with Professor Gregory Erickson, one examining American cultural identity through the music and photography of the Jazz Age, the other on music and spirituality. Denker also conducted neuroscience and brain-imaging research on aesthetics at the NYU Center for Brain Imaging.

Denker received a two-year post-baccalaureate research fellowship at the National Institutes of Health in the Section on Brain Imaging of the Child Psychiatry Branch and completed a PhD program in neuroscience at Emory University in the spring of 2019.

“Gallatin,” says Denker, “provided me with a creative approach to a comprehensive education in neuroscience. I was able to tailor my studies and examine neuroscience through the lens of the arts, something that gave me a unique scientific perspective.”



Alexander Denker