The Aesthetic Brain: How We Evolved to Desire Beauty and Enjoy Art
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The Aesthetic Brain takes readers on an exciting journey through the world of beauty, pleasure, and art. Using the latest advances in neuroscience and evolutionary psychology, Anjan Chatterjee investigates how an aesthetic sense is etched into our minds, and explains why artistic concerns feature centrally in our lives. Along the way, Chatterjee addresses such fundamental questions as: What is beauty? Is it universal? How is beauty related to pleasure? What is art? Should art be beautiful? Do we have an instinct for art?
Early on, Chatterjee probes the reasons why we find people, places, and even numbers beautiful, highlighting the important relationship between beauty and pleasure. Examining our pleasures allows him to reveal why we enjoy things like food, sex, and money, and how these rewards relate to our aesthetic encounters. Chatterjee's detailed discussion of beauty and pleasure equips readers to confront essential questions about the nature of art, the problems of defining it, and the challenges of interpreting its modern, non-traditional forms. Replete with facts, anecdotes, and analogies, this lively empirical guide to aesthetics offers scientific answers to fundamental questions without deflating the intrinsic wonders of beauty and art in an affordable paperback edition.
advertises a person who is resistant to parasites. While attractiveness is highly regarded in every culture, Gangestad and Buss found that attractiveness is valued even more highly in cultures with serious infestations of malaria, schistosomiasis, and other virulent parasites . Asymmetrical bodies, besides indicating infections or developmental anomalies, are also less efficient in physically moving toward desirable goals and avoiding dangers. Earlier, we saw that symmetrical middle-distance
relate to counting since we use a base 10 counting system that almost certainly derives from the number of our fingers. We also conceive of a number line with spatial dimensions specifically along the left–right horizontal axis. Perhaps our sense of numbers is related to this left-to-right spatial layout. Finally, writing uses purely arbitrary symbols put together in ways that are themselves not arbitrary, similar to the ways in which numbers are put together. In fact, much of Europe used the
hungry, the Pavlovian appetitive desire for sugar and fat took over. We become short-sighted in many situations, like when we are tired, drunk, and emotionally aroused. Craving for one object overflows into craving for another. Addicts become more impulsive when they crave drugs and money. Sexually aroused people become short-sighted about spending money. Finally, the deliberative system is designed to think about rewards in the future. Some theorists think that we imagine our emotional state in
that the aesthetic attitude involves adopting a psychological distance toward the art object . This distance removes practical consideration of objects and opens people to new and deeper experiences that are personally emotional and the root of any aesthetic experience. Other more recent theorists have different takes on aesthetic experiences. As art became more abstract, art theorizing in the early twentieth century became more formal. Clive Bell introduced the idea of “significant form,”
American Scientist, 2006, 94: pp. 249–255. 193. Leder, H., Carbon, C.-C., & Ripsas, A.-L. Entitling art: Influence of title information on understanding and appreciation of paintings. Acta Psychologica, 2006. 121(2): pp. 176–198. 194. Jakesch, M., & Leder, H. Finding meaning in art: Preferred levels of ambiguity in art appreciation. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 2009. 62(11): pp. 2105–2112. 195. Kirk, U., et al. Modulation of aesthetic value by semantic context: An fMRI study.