Aesthetic Appreciation: The View from Neuroimaging

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Our understanding of aesthetic appreciation has undergone a profound change during the past 20 years, as a result of the ability to study the human brain through neuroimaging. A number of findings cast into doubt important tenets of previous theories and models. Specifically, neuroscientific evidence suggests that aesthetic appreciation is not a distinct neurobiological process assessing certain objects, but a general system, centered on the mesolimbic reward circuit, for assessing the hedonic value of any sensory object. Furthermore, neuroscientific research also makes it clear that hedonic values are not determined solely by object properties, but subject to a range of object-extrinsic modulatory factors. This article reviews these findings and discusses how they demand a new experimental approach to aesthetic appreciation.
Our understanding of aesthetic appreciation has undergone a profound change during the past 20 years, as a result of the ability to study the human brain through neuroimaging. A number of findings cast into doubt important tenets of previous theories and models. Specifically, neuroscientific evidence suggests that aesthetic appreciation is not a distinct neurobiological process assessing certain objects, but a general system, centered on the mesolimbic reward circuit, for assessing the hedonic value of any sensory object. Furthermore, neuroscientific research also makes it clear that hedonic values are not determined solely by object properties, but subject to a range of object-extrinsic modulatory factors. This article reviews these findings and discusses how they demand a new experimental approach to aesthetic appreciation.
LanguageEnglish
JournalEmpirical Studies of the Arts
Volume37
Issue number2
Pages220-248
Number of pages29
ISSN0276-2374
DOIs
StatePublished - 2019

Keywords

  • Aesthetic appreciation
  • Reward
  • Sensory valuation
  • Preference
  • Aesthetic judgment
  • Neuroaesthetics

Cite this

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abstract = "Our understanding of aesthetic appreciation has undergone a profound change during the past 20 years, as a result of the ability to study the human brain through neuroimaging. A number of findings cast into doubt important tenets of previous theories and models. Specifically, neuroscientific evidence suggests that aesthetic appreciation is not a distinct neurobiological process assessing certain objects, but a general system, centered on the mesolimbic reward circuit, for assessing the hedonic value of any sensory object. Furthermore, neuroscientific research also makes it clear that hedonic values are not determined solely by object properties, but subject to a range of object-extrinsic modulatory factors. This article reviews these findings and discusses how they demand a new experimental approach to aesthetic appreciation.",
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Aesthetic Appreciation : The View from Neuroimaging. / Skov, Martin.

In: Empirical Studies of the Arts, Vol. 37, No. 2, 2019, p. 220-248.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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