Main building of the University of Vienna

The Research Focus (RF) Empirical Visual Aesthetics (EVA lab) has an unique internationally profile, in no other Psychology department exists a comparable team and network of researchers, and this makes it a USP at University of Vienna. This is supported by the many international visitors and guest, and cooperations. The RF is very well connected, with research collaborations beyond Psychology, beyond University of Vienna (e.g. Angewandte Univ. joint project proposals), and internationally (see KEIO Neuroscience partenrship). The RF is one of the bridging topics between Cognitive and Neutoscioences (Doc School CoBeNe), to assure a unique, and competitive research profile at University of Vienna (see its prominent role in COSci platform). As a next step the FR will extend further towards Neuroaesthctsi, but also with Leder as speaker of the platfrom aim to attract more connections with humanities, and with Angewandte, with artist – and health sciences - more Applied profiles, that have effects for a resilient, healthy socitey.

The Research Focus also has a central role in the research platform Cognitive Sciences. Aesthetics is one of four main areas in the new doctoral school CoBeNe at the University of Vienna (key topics: perception, emotion, art and aesthetics). The Research Focus hosts yearly international Vienna Aesthetics Symposia, and, in 2016, hosted the biannual conference of the International Association of Empirical Aesthetics (IAEA), the leading meeting for researchers in empirical aesthetics in Vienna, accompanied by the WWTF-sponsored summer school CSSS 2016 and by another conference, Art&Sciences, by the university’s department of Art History. The Research Focus also co-hosted the European Conference on Eye-Movements, ECEM 2015, and the TeaP 2013.



5 Selected Main Publications

(1) Pelowski, M., Forster, M., Gerger, G. & Leder, H, (invited subm.). Move me, astonish me… delight my eyes and brain. Physics of Life Reviews.

(2) Pearce, M. T., Zaidel, D.W., Vartanian, O., Skov, M., Leder, H., Chatterjee, A. & Nadal. M. (2016). Neuroaesthetics: The Cognitive Neuroscience of Aesthetic Experience. Persp. Psycholog. Sci. 11(2), 265-279.

(3) Leder, H., & Nadal, M. (2014). Ten years of a model of aesthetic appreciation and aesthetic judgments: The aesthetic episode – Developments and challenges in empirical aesthetics. Brit. Journ. Psych. 443-464.

(4) Vartanian, O., Navarrete, G., Chatterjee, A., Leder, H. & Skov, M. (2013). Impact of contour on aesthetic judgments and approach-avoidance decisions in architecture. Proc.Nat. Acad. Sciences, 110, 10446-10453.

(5) Forster, M., Leder, H. & Ansorge, U. (2013). It felt fluent, and I liked it: Subjective feeling of fluency rather than objective fluency determines liking. Emotion 13(2), 280-289.

Research Projects

In joint projects with art-history, questions of an interdisciplinary nature have been studied, such as the universality of abstract art, aesthetic experiences in museums (KHM, Albertina). Current projects include: the effect of line and colors in art perception (WWTF, PI Rosenberg); an EU Marie Curie project on the role of the brain on art (Pelowski); and an FWF project on the nature of attraction. 

EVAlab projects:

zu den Projekten des Arbeitsbereichs Allgemeine Psychologie