A neural mechanism for aesthetic experience

  title={A neural mechanism for aesthetic experience},
  author={Preston P. Thakral and Lauren R. Moo and Scott D. Slotnick},
Aesthetic experience associated with viewing art has been hypothesized to depend on both low-level sensory processing and high-level conceptual processing. To test these hypotheses, we used functional MRI to evaluate the magnitude of activity in sensory motion processing region MT+ and in the prefrontal cortex while participants viewed van Gogh paintings that evoked a range of motion experience. In support of the sensory hypothesis of aesthetic experience and the conceptual hypothesis of… 
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  • 2019
TMS and tDCS studies that have targeted premotor and motor regions, as well as other areas involved in body and facial expression processing, and possible mechanisms mediating stimulation effects on aesthetic judgments are discussed.
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Objective: NEVArt research aims to study the correlation between a set of neurophysiological/emotional reactions and the level of aesthetic appreciation of around 500 experimental subjects, during


Activation of the prefrontal cortex in the human visual aesthetic perception.
It is shown that the prefrontal area is selectively activated in humans during the perception of objects qualified as "beautiful" by the participants, which means aesthetics can be hypothetically considered as an attribute perceived by means of a particular brain processing system, in which the prefrontal cortex seems to play a key role.
Neural correlates of beauty.
The results show that the perception of different categories of paintings are associated with distinct and specialized visual areas of the brain, that the orbito-frontal cortex is differentially engaged during the Perception of beautiful and ugly stimuli, regardless of the category of painting.
Visual memory and visual perception recruit common neural substrates.
  • S. Slotnick
  • Psychology, Biology
    Behavioral and cognitive neuroscience reviews
  • 2004
Independent assessments of visual item memory studies and visual working memory studies revealed activity in the appropriate cortical regions associated with each of the three levels of visual perception processing, providing compelling evidence that visual memory and visual perception are associated with common neural substrates.
Neuroanatomical correlates of aesthetic preference for paintings
The differential patterns of activation observed in the aforementioned structures in response to aesthetic preference are specific examples of their roles in evaluating reward-based stimuli that vary in emotional valence.
Brain activity accompanying perception of implied motion in abstract paintings.
The results imply that the neural machinery ordinarily engaged during perception of real visual motion is activated when people view paintings explicitly designed to convey a sense of visual motion.
Delayed Response to Animate Implied Motion in Human Motion Processing Areas
The longer latency of the implied motion response in comparison to the real motion response is consistent with a feedback projection onto MT following object recognition in higher-level temporal areas.
Implied motion because of instability in Hokusai Manga activates the human motion-sensitive extrastriate visual cortex: an fMRI study of the impact of visual art
It is concluded that motion-sensitive extrastriate cortex would be a critical region for perception of implied motion in instability, and used static line-drawing cartoons of humans by Hokusai Katsushika to demonstrate this.
Activation in Human MT/MST by Static Images with Implied Motion
fMRI activation within MT/MST is found during viewing of static photographs with implied motion compared to viewing of photographs without implied motion, suggesting that brain regions involved in the visual analysis of motion are also engaged in processing implied dynamic information from static images.