(an analysis of the neuroaesthetic biological bases of aesthetic experiences)

Elicits a visceral response. Question – can this be reverse engineered? With any precision?

1 All phenomenon provide a related idea of the self in sensory or motor form.

2 The impulses of the optic nerve directly stimulate the motor nerves, which cause specific muscles to contract.

3 We feel what we see. Sensation is our mirror. An instinctive realisation of a kinetic bond between viewer and art object, and this is possibly attributed to mirror neurons

4 The visual cortex and its related structures have certain characteristics that constrain the eye that either forbid or oblige us to respond to artworks in certain ways.

5 There is a constant conflict between space v boundary, focal v periphery. A fluctuating awareness.

6 ‘A beautiful object presented to the senses, by causing a relaxation in the body, produces the passion of love in the mind’ – Burke 1757

7 The artwork is in close dynamic interaction with the viewer, who is actively organising the artwork in one direction, and being affected by it in another.

8 An artwork is appealing, not as a collection of parts, but as a structure with a consistent entirety where each constituent requires the others. This structure is a close dynamic interaction with the viewer, who is actively organising the artwork in one direction, and being affected by it in another. The spectator’s thoughts and feelings are elicited in an appropriate manner by the artwork.

9 Perception is not the mere automatic and passive recording aspects of the visual field; Perceiving means becoming aware of the dynamic forces inherent to the stimuli.

10 The Hedonic tone is the trait underlying one’s characteristic ability to feel pleasure, arising from the attraction of interactive arousal of visual experience.

11 ‘It does not see unreasonable to suggest that the instinctive pleasure in harmony is die to the impelling need for suitability to environment’ – Clay 1908

12 ‘In short, the primitive concept of beauty must have been purely anthropinistic (e.g. human standpoint)’ – Allen 1880

13 ‘Aesthetic judgement is a natural part of mate choice and social cognition, in which an artwork is viewed as the extended phenotype (the composite of an organism’s observable characteristics or traits) of the artist’ – Miller 2001

14 Complexity and symmetry’s stimuli affect the senses to create impressions of beauty.

15 Four major perceptual effects from an experimental neuroaesthetic approach are contrast, curvature, symmetry and complexity.

16 Seven psychological approaches – Diachronia (the way in which something, especially art, has developed and evolved through time), ipsichronia (a singular time perspective), mind, body, content, person and situation.

1Biophysical aspects include neurophysiology, neuroanatomy, molecular biology, cellular biology and endocrinology.

18 Molecular imaging – Neurons are organised into circuits or pathways that process specific kinds of signals mediating specific kinds of brain function. Activation of these pathways is typically initiated by chemical signals such as neuro-transmitters (biochemical signal molecules) and hormones.

19 In research on visual perception, eye tracking devices make it possible to measure point of gaze, eye position, duration of fixation, saccades (rapid eye movements) and pupil dilation.

2Somatosensory, relating to or denoting a sensation (such as pressure, pain, or warmth) which can occur anywhere in the body, in contrast to one localized at a sense organ (such as sight, balance, or taste).

21 Synaesthesia, a condition in which one sense (for example, sight) is simultaneously perceived as if by one or more additional senses such as sound. Another form of synaesthesia joins objects such as letters, shapes, numbers or people’s names with a sensory perception such as smell, colour or flavour.

22 ‘Artists are neurologists, studying the brain with techniques that are unique to them and reaching interesting but unspecified conclusions about the organisation of the brain’ Zeki 1999

23 The conscious experience of being the author of our own actions is thought to be grounded in pre-reflective and low-level sensorimotor representations of the self as different from the other.

24 The artist automatically generates through the primary processes of perception-action coupling, reflecting the experience that events are self-generated.

25 Perception and perspective.

26 Artists and the visual system have a general property in common, artists being ‘research neuroscientists’, transgressing the laws of physics ‘to suit the message of the piece, rather then the requirements of the physical world’ Cananagh 2005

27 These alternative physics might reveal fundamental features of how the visual system functions.

28 Aesthetic experience results from an interaction between perception, cognition, and emotion.

(A ‘complex’ medicine with ‘imaginary components’ – D.O.)

Edited text from: An Introduction to Neuroaesthetics (Lauring) & The Neural Imagination (Massey)

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