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Biography: Jim Davies is an associate professor in the Institute of Cognitive Science at Carleton University. Director of the Science of Imagination Laboratory, he explores processes of visualization in humans and machines and specializes in artificial intelligence, analogy, problem-solving, and the psychology of art, religion, and creativity. His work has shown how people use visual thinking to solve problems, and how they visualize imagined situations and worlds.
In his spare time, he is a published poet, an internationally-produced playwright, and a professional painter, calligrapher, and swing dancer. His book Riveted: Riveted: The Science of Why Jokes Make us Laugh, Movies Make us Cry, and Religion Makes us Feel One with the Universe will be released August 5, 2014.
Riveted reveals the evolutionary underpinnings of why we find things compelling, from art to religion and from sports to superstition. Drawing on work from philosophy, anthropology, religious studies, psychology, economics, computer science, and biology, Davies offers a comprehensive explanation to show that in spite of the differences between the many things that we find compelling, they have similar effects on our minds and brains.
Photo credit Daniel Thompson photography.