What is the nature of the interaction between the creative mind of the artist and the mentalization of that in the mind of the observer? And is this interaction important, or just an epiphenomenon that distracts from art as an autonomous form of expression? Central in this lecture is the process of giving meaning. Meaning is established in a negotiation between the actual sensory information and the remembered experience of all previous environments throughout the life course. Meaning is the mismatch between the thing what is expected based on past and current information that presents itself in the consciousness. This mismatch can be understood as a forecast error. Art can evoke strong expectation errors. Madness can be understood as a steady stream of forecast errors.
Jim van Os (Utrecht, 1960) is a professor of Psychiatry at Maastricht University, chairmen of the Neurointervention center at the Academic Hospital Maastricht, member of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences (since 2011) and Fellow of the King’s College in London (since 2016). He works at the intersection of core brain science, art and subjective experiences of people with lived experience at the GGZ (mental health care). In 2014 he released his book The DSM5 Voorbij, and in 2016 the book Goede GGZ! (Good Mental Health Care) (along with Philippe Delespaul), in which he described how seemingly spectacular ndings are often unreliable in brain science and are also able to put the society on the wrong track in thinking about madness, depression and the autism spectrum. Together with authors Trudy Dehue, AnneMei The, Paul Verhaeghe, Chris Brinkgreve, Alan Ralston and Wouter Kusters, he is a member of Babel – a group dedicated to a more pluralistic and sustainable way of doing science and for a disruptive change in mental health care, based on new language, concepts and methods in line with the experience of patients.