Loyola University Chicago

Department of Psychology

Norberto Grzywacz



Title: Professor
Office: Coffey Hall 342
Phone: 773-508-2970
Background Information
BA/BS: Hebrew University of Jerusalem -- Physics and Mathematics
PhD: Hebrew University of Jerusalem -- Neurobiology
Post-doc: MIT, Computational and Cognitive Neuroscience
Research Interests
Our current research interests are on the Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience of aesthetic emotions.  Thus, the inquiries in our lab revolve around why people experience certain visual scenes and auditory pieces as beautiful or ugly.  These inquiries have steered us into the realms of perception and art, including neuroscientific-based studies of the great paintings and popular music.  In more detail, we have explored the reinforcement learning of aesthetic values and neuroimaging-anchored computational models of aesthetic choices.  These explorations have led us to explanations of the formation of individuality and culture, the instability of preference, and the social influences on taste.  Not surprisingly, our lab is highly interdisciplinary.  It has included faculty, students, and postdocs from Psychology, Neuroscience, Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics, Sociology, Fine Arts, and Music.
Recent Publications
Miles, S.A., D.S. Rosen, and N.M. Grzywacz (2021) Behavioral Evidence of A Harmonic Suprise Effect on Preference in Popular Music. Music and Science.
Pombo, M, H. Aleem, and N.M. Grzywacz (2021) Multiple Axes of Visual Symmetry: Detection and Aesthetic Preference.  Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance.
Ivzan, N, and N.M. Grzywacz (2021) A Probabilistic Model for the Responses of Retinal Ganglion Cells to Natural Images.  Journal of Vision.  
Miles, S.A., D.S. Rosen, S. Barry, D. Grunberg, and N. Grzywacz (2021) What to Expect When the Unexpected Becomes Expected: Harmonic Surprise and Preference Over Time in Popular Music.  Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.  15, 201-210. Download PDF
Grzywacz, N.M. (2021) Stochasticity, Nonlinear Value Functions, and Update Rules in Learning Aesthetic Biases.  Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.  15, 210-236. Download PDF
Aleem, H., I. Correa-Herran, and N.M. Grzywacz (2020) A Theoretical Framework for How we Learn Aesthetic Values. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.  14, 345-362. Download PDF
Correa-Herran, I., H. Aleem, and N.M. Grzywacz (2020) Evolution of Neuroaesthetic Variables in Portraits Paintings throughout the Renaissance.  Entropy.  22, 146-167. Download PDF
Aleem, H., M. Pombo, I. Correa-Herran, and N.M. Grzywacz (2019) Is Beauty in the Eye of the Beholder or an Objective Truth?  A Neuroscientific Answer, in Mobile Brain-Body Imaging and the Neuroscience of Art, Innovation and Creativity, Volume 10 of Springer Series on Bio- and Neurosystems, J. Contreras-Vidal, D. Robleto, J.G. Cruz-Garza, J.M. Azorin, and C.S. Nam (Eds.), 101-110.  Springer International Publishing. Download PDF
Miles, S.A., D.S. Rosen, and N.M. Grzywacz (2017) A Statistical Analysis of the Relationship Between Harmonic Surprise and Preference in Popular Music.  Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.  11, 263-276. Download PDF
Aleem, H., I. Correa-Herran, and N.M. Grzywacz (2017) Inferring Master Painters' Esthetic Biases from the Statistics of Portraits.Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.  11, 94-112. Download PDF
Yu, W.Q., N.M. Grzywacz, E.-J. Lee, and G.D. Field (2017) Cell-type Specific Changes in Retinal Ganglion Cell Function Induced by Rod Death and Cone Reorganization in Rats.  Journal of Neurophysiology.  118, 434-454. Download PDF