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Riv Psichiatr. 2014 Mar-Apr;49(2):61-6. doi: 10.1708/1461.16139.

[The Stendhal syndrome between psychoanalysis and neuroscience].

[Article in Italian]

Abstract

The Stendhal Syndrome was proposed in 1977 by the Florentine psychiatrist Graziella Magherini who observed and described an acute and unexpected psychiatric breakdown among tourists exposed to artworks.

AIM:

The aim of the present study is to evaluate whether the Stendhal Syndrome has achieved a solid scientific validity any years after its first description. The relationship between art and psychopathology is evaluated within a modern neurobiological perspective, also taking into account the recent neuroaesthetic theories.

METHOD:

An updated review of the current literature was conducted in order to compare the psychological and neurobiological perspectives.

RESULTS:

There are suggestions that specific cerebral areas are activated while observing an artwork.

CONCLUSIONS:

There is no scientific evidence to define the Stendhal Syndrome as a specific psychiatric disorder; on the other hand there is evidence that the same cerebral areas involved in emotional reactions are activated during the exposure to artworks.

PMID:
24770571
DOI:
10.1708/1461.16139
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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