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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2016 Apr;1369(1):172-94. doi: 10.1111/nyas.13035. Epub 2016 Apr 1.

Neuroscience of aesthetics.

Author information

1
The University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
2
University of Toronto Scarborough, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Abstract

Aesthetic evaluations are appraisals that influence choices in important domains of human activity, including mate selection, consumer behavior, art appreciation, and possibly even moral judgment. The nascent field of neuroaesthetics is advancing our understanding of the role of aesthetic evaluations by examining their biological bases. Here, we conduct a selective review of the literature on neuroaesthetics to demonstrate that aesthetic experiences likely emerge from the interaction between emotion-valuation, sensory-motor, and meaning-knowledge neural systems. This tripartite model can in turn be evoked to explain phenomena central to aesthetics, such as context effects on preferences. Indeed, context-dependent appraisals that focus on objects rather than on outcomes could be an important factor distinguishing aesthetic experiences from other kinds of evaluations.

KEYWORDS:

aesthetics; art; beauty; context; preference

PMID:
27037898
DOI:
10.1111/nyas.13035
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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