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The Edge Effect in Art and Science

  • May 29, 2014
  • By Allison Engel     
“Yo-Yo Ma brought up an interesting topic, ‘the edge effect’ or the point of intersection — which resonated with me… As a scientist and musician, I’ve been looking for opportunities to have my two varied backgrounds come together…”


An intimate group inside the Brain and Creativity Institute’s Joyce J. Cammilleri Hall were privy to a tête-à-tête between world renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and USC Professor and neuroscientist Antonio Damasio. The event took place in September 2013.

The “edge effect” was referenced when Damasio and Ma talked about blending disciplines in order to make new discoveries. Yo-Yo Ma acknowledges the fact that not being limited to a single discipline has made him the musician that he is today.

Editor’s Note  (a2ru): Yo-Yo Ma consistently uses  the term “edge effect” to describe arts-integrated interdisciplinarity. It is firmly embedded in Ma’s lexicon where creativity is concerned. The term “edge effect” appears in various interviews regarding The Silk Road Project (1997), including a headline that appeared in The Chronicle of Higher Education  (March 2007).

Photograph by Steve Cohn

Link to Full Source: University of Southern California News