Neuroaesthetics – The Cognitive Neuroscience of Aesthetic Experience

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  cognitivec  neuroscientific approach may develop in a way that is mutually complementary to approaches in the humanities.


About Giorgio Bertini

Research Professor. Founder Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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