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Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci. 2014 Nov;9(11):1713-21. doi: 10.1093/scan/nst165. Epub 2013 Oct 15.

The world can look better: enhancing beauty experience with brain stimulation.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, University of Milano-Bicocca, Piazza dell'Ateneo Nuovo 1, 20126 Milano, Italy, Brain Connectivity Center, National Neurological Institute C. Mondino, Via Mondino 2, 27100, Pavia, Italy, Evocog Group, Instituto de Física Interdisciplinar y Sistemas Complejos (IFISC), Universidad de las Islas Baleares y Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Crta Valldemossa, Km 7.5, 07122 Palma de Mallorca, Spain, and Department of Basic Psychological Research and Research Methods, University of Vienna, Liebiggasse 5, 1010 Vienna, Austria Department of Psychology, University of Milano-Bicocca, Piazza dell'Ateneo Nuovo 1, 20126 Milano, Italy, Brain Connectivity Center, National Neurological Institute C. Mondino, Via Mondino 2, 27100, Pavia, Italy, Evocog Group, Instituto de Física Interdisciplinar y Sistemas Complejos (IFISC), Universidad de las Islas Baleares y Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Crta Valldemossa, Km 7.5, 07122 Palma de Mallorca, Spain, and Department of Basic Psychological Research and Research Methods, University of Vienna, Liebiggasse 5, 1010 Vienna, Austria zaira.cattaneo@unimib.it.
2
Department of Psychology, University of Milano-Bicocca, Piazza dell'Ateneo Nuovo 1, 20126 Milano, Italy, Brain Connectivity Center, National Neurological Institute C. Mondino, Via Mondino 2, 27100, Pavia, Italy, Evocog Group, Instituto de Física Interdisciplinar y Sistemas Complejos (IFISC), Universidad de las Islas Baleares y Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Crta Valldemossa, Km 7.5, 07122 Palma de Mallorca, Spain, and Department of Basic Psychological Research and Research Methods, University of Vienna, Liebiggasse 5, 1010 Vienna, Austria.
3
Department of Psychology, University of Milano-Bicocca, Piazza dell'Ateneo Nuovo 1, 20126 Milano, Italy, Brain Connectivity Center, National Neurological Institute C. Mondino, Via Mondino 2, 27100, Pavia, Italy, Evocog Group, Instituto de Física Interdisciplinar y Sistemas Complejos (IFISC), Universidad de las Islas Baleares y Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Crta Valldemossa, Km 7.5, 07122 Palma de Mallorca, Spain, and Department of Basic Psychological Research and Research Methods, University of Vienna, Liebiggasse 5, 1010 Vienna, Austria Department of Psychology, University of Milano-Bicocca, Piazza dell'Ateneo Nuovo 1, 20126 Milano, Italy, Brain Connectivity Center, National Neurological Institute C. Mondino, Via Mondino 2, 27100, Pavia, Italy, Evocog Group, Instituto de Física Interdisciplinar y Sistemas Complejos (IFISC), Universidad de las Islas Baleares y Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Crta Valldemossa, Km 7.5, 07122 Palma de Mallorca, Spain, and Department of Basic Psychological Research and Research Methods, University of Vienna, Liebiggasse 5, 1010 Vienna, Austria.

Abstract

Aesthetic appreciation is part of our everyday life: it is a subjective judgment we make when looking at a painting, a landscape, or--in fact--at another person. Neuroimaging and electrophysiological evidence suggests that the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) plays a critical role in aesthetic judgments. Here, we show that the experience of beauty can be artificially enhanced with brain stimulation. Specifically, we show that aesthetic appreciation of representational paintings and photographs can be increased by applying anodal (excitatory) transcranial direct current stimulation on the left DLPFC. Our results thus show that beauty is in the brain of the beholder, and offer a novel view on the neural networks underlying aesthetic appreciation.

KEYWORDS:

abstract; art; brain stimulation; colour; dorsolateral prefrontal cortex; liking; neuroaesthetics; representational; tDCS

PMID:
24132459
PMCID:
PMC4221210
DOI:
10.1093/scan/nst165
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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