Neuroaesthetics: The Cognitive Neuroscience of Aesthetic Experience

Author(s)
Marcus T Pearce, Dahlia W. Zaidel, Oshin Vartanian, Martin Skov, Helmut Leder, Anjan Chatterjee, Marcos Nadal-Roberts
Abstract

The field of neuroaesthetics has gained in popularity in recent years but also attracted criticism from the perspectives both of the humanities and the sciences. In an effort to consolidate research in the field, we characterize neuroaesthetics as the cognitive neuroscience of aesthetic experience, drawing on long traditions of research in empirical aesthetics on the one hand and cognitive neuroscience on the other. We clarify the aims and scope of the field, identifying relations among neuroscientific investigations of aesthetics, beauty, and art. The approach we advocate takes as its object of study a wide spectrum of aesthetic experiences, resulting from interactions of individuals, sensory stimuli, and context. Drawing on its parent fields, a cognitive neuroscience of aesthetics would investigate the complex cognitive processes and functional networks of brain regions involved in those experiences without placing a value on them. Thus, the cognitive neuroscientific approach may develop in a way that is mutually complementary to approaches in the humanities.

Organisation(s)
Department of Cognition, Emotion, and Methods in Psychology
External organisation(s)
Queen Mary University of London, University of California, Los Angeles, University of Toronto, University of Copenhagen, University of Pennsylvania
Journal
Perspectives on Psychological Science
Volume
11
Pages
265-79
No. of pages
15
ISSN
1745-6916
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1177/1745691615621274
Publication date
03-2016
Peer reviewed
Yes
Austrian Fields of Science 2012
501001 General psychology, 501011 Cognitive psychology
Keywords
Portal url
https://ucris.univie.ac.at/portal/en/publications/neuroaesthetics-the-cognitive-neuroscience-of-aesthetic-experience(2956dd50-5bb5-4686-b850-7c38e7441dff).html