Updated in 6/29/2010 9:05:29 AM      Viewed: 466 times      (Journal Article)
Journal of Anatomy 216 (2): 184-191 (2010)

Beauty and the brain: Culture, history and individual differences in aesthetic appreciation

T Jacobsen
Human aesthetic processing entails the sensation-based evaluation of an entity with respect to concepts like beauty, harmony or well-formedness. Aesthetic appreciation has many determinants ranging from evolutionary, anatomical or physiological constraints to influences of culture, history and individual differences. There are a vast number of dynamically configured neural networks underlying these multifaceted processes of aesthetic appreciation. In the current challenge of successfully bridging art and science, aesthetics and neuroanatomy, the neuro-cognitive psychology of aesthetics can approach this complex topic using a framework that postulates several perspectives, which are not mutually exclusive. In this empirical approach, objective physiological data from event-related brain potentials and functional magnetic resonance imaging are combined with subjective, individual self-reports. © 2009 The Author. Journal compilation © 2009 Anatomical Society of Great Britain and Ireland.
ISSN: 0021-8782     
Export Date: 15 April 2010Source: ScopusReferences: Arnheim, R., (1974) Art and Visual Perception: The New Version, , Berkeley, CA, University of California Press; Baldwin, M.W., Relational schemas and the processing of social information (1992) Psychol Bull, 112, pp. 461-484; Berlyne, D.E., Novelty, complexity, and hedonic value (1970) Percept Psychophys, 8, pp. 279-286; Berlyne, D.E., (1971) Aesthetics and Psychobiology, , East Norwalk, CT, Appleton-Century-Crofts; Berlyne, D.E., (1974) Studies in the New Experimental Aesthetics: Steps Toward an Objective Psychology of Aesthetic Appreciation, , Oxford, UK, Hemisphere; Chatterjee, A., The neuropsychology of visual artistic production (2004) Neuropsychologia, 42, pp. 1568-1583; Dutton, D., (2009) The Art Instinct: Beauty Pleasure, and Human Evolution, , New York, Bloomsbury; Eysenck, H.J., A new measure of good taste in visual art: the visual aesthetic sensitivity test (1983) Leonardo, 16, pp. 229-231; Fechner, G.T., (1876) Vorschule der Aesthetik, , [Experimental Aesthetics; " Pre-school" of aesthetics], Leipzig, Breitkopf & Härtel; Hekkert, P., van Wieringen, P.C.W., Complexity and prototypicality as determinants of the appraisal of cubist paintings (1990) Br J Psychol, 81, pp. 483-495; Hekkert, P., Snelders, D., van Wieringen, P.C., 'Most advanced, yet acceptable': typicality and novelty as joint predictors of aesthetic preference in industrial design (2003) Br J Psychol, 94 (PART. 1), pp. 111-124; Höfel, L., Jacobsen, T., Temporal stability and consistency of aesthetic judgments of beauty of formal graphic patterns (2003) Percept Mot Skills, 96, pp. 30-32; Höfel, L., Jacobsen, T., Electrophysiological indices of processing aesthetics: spontaneous or intentional processes? (2007) Int J Psychophysiol, 65, pp. 20-31; Höfel, L., Jacobsen, T., Electrophysiological indices of processing symmetry and aesthetics: a result of judgment categorization or judgment report? (2007) J Psychophysiol, 21, pp. 9-21; Höfel, L., Lange, M., Jacobsen, T., Beauty and the teeth: perception of tooth color and its influence on the overall judgment of facial attractiveness (2007) Int J Periodont Rest Dent, 27, pp. 349-357; Höge, H., Fechner's experimental aesthetics and the golden section hypothesis today (1995) Empir Stud Arts, 13, pp. 131-148; Jacobsen, T., Kandinsky's questionnaire revisited: fundamental correspondence of basic colors and forms? (2002) Percept Mot Skills, 95, pp. 903-913; Jacobsen, T., Individual and group modeling of aesthetic judgment strategies (2004) Br J Psychol, 95, pp. 41-56; Jacobsen, T., Kandinsky's color-form correspondence and the Bauhaus Colors: an empirical view (2004) Leonardo, 37, pp. 135-136; Jacobsen, T., Bridging the arts and sciences: a framework for the psychology of aesthetics (2006) Leonardo, 39, pp. 155-162; Jacobsen, T., Höfel, L., Descriptive and evaluative judgment processes: an event-related potential analysis of processing symmetry and aesthetics (2000) J Cogn Neurosci, 12 (SUPPL.), p. 110; Jacobsen, T., Höfel, L., Aesthetic judgments of novel graphic patterns: analyses of individual judgments (2002) Percept Mot Skills, 95, pp. 755-766; Jacobsen, T., Höfel, L., Descriptive and evaluative judgment processes: behavioral and electrophysiological indices of processing symmetry and aesthetics (2003) Cogn Affect Behav Neurosci, 3, pp. 289-299; Jacobsen, T., Wolsdorff, C., Does history affect aesthetic preference? Kandinsky's teaching of colour-form correspondence, empirical aesthetics, and the Bauhaus (2007) Des J, 10, pp. 16-27; Jacobsen, T., Schröger, E., Humphreys, G.W., Facilitation of visual search at new positions: a behavioral and ERP study of new object capture (2001) NeuroReport, 12, pp. 4161-4164; Jacobsen, T., Buchta, K., Köhler, M., The primacy of beauty in judging the aesthetics of objects (2004) Psychol Rep, 94, pp. 1253-1260; Jacobsen, T., Schubotz, R.I., Höfel, L., Brain correlates of aesthetic judgment of beauty (2006) NeuroImage, 29, pp. 276-285; Jacobsen, T., Miesler, L., Riesel, A., Evaluation of school architecture post occupancy (2008) Psychol Rep, 102, pp. 848-854; Kawabata, H., Zeki, S., Neural correlates of beauty (2004) J Neurophysiol, 91, pp. 1699-1705; Konecni, V.J., Determinants of aesthetic preference and effects of exposure to aesthetic stimuli: social, emotional and cognitive factors (1979) Prog Exp Pers Res, 9, pp. 149-197; Kornysheva, K., von Cramon, D.Y., Jacobsen, T., Tuning-in to the beat: Aesthetic appreciation of musical rhythms correlates with a premotor activity boost (2009) Hum Brain Mapp; Leder, H., Belke, B., Oeberst, A., A model of aesthetic appreciation and aesthetic judgments (2004) Br J Psychol, 95, pp. 489-508; Locher, P.J., An empirical investigation of the visual rightness theory of picture perception (2003) Acta Psychol, 114, pp. 147-164; Martindale, C., Farley, F.H., Neperud, R.W., Aesthetics, psychobiology, and cognition (1988) The Foundation of Aesthetics, Art and Art Education, pp. 7-42. , New York, Praeger; Miller, G.F., (2000) The Mating Mind: How Sexual Choice Shaped the Evolution of Human Nature, , New York, Doubleday; Nodine, C.F., Locher, P.J., Krupinski, E.A., The role of formal art training on perception and aesthetic judgment of art compositions (1993) Leonardo, 26, pp. 219-227; Perrett, D.I., Burt, D.M., Penton-Voak, I.S., Symmetry and human facial attractiveness (1999) Evol Hum Behav, 20, pp. 295-307; Petty, R.E., Wegener, D.T., Fabrigar, L.R., Attitudes and attitude change (1997) Annu Rev Psychol, 48, pp. 609-647; Reber, R., Schwarz, N., Winkielman, P., Processing fluency and aesthetic pleasure: is beauty in the perceiver's processing experience? (2004) Pers Soc Psychol Rev, 8, pp. 364-382; Ritterfeld, U., Social heuristics in interior design preferences (2002) J Environ Psychol, 22, pp. 369-386; Rosch, E., Cognitive representations of semantic categories (1975) J Exp Psychol Gen, 104, pp. 192-233; Roye, A., Höfel, L., Jacobsen, T., Aesthetics of faces: behavioural and electrophysiological indices of evaluative and descriptive judgment processes (2008) J Psychophysiol, 22, pp. 41-57; Tomasello, M., (2000) The Cultural Origins of Human Cognition, , Boston, MA, Harvard University Press; Vartanian, O., Goel, V., Neuroanatomical correlates of aesthetic preference for paintings (2004) NeuroReport, 15, pp. 893-897; Weber, R., Schnier, J., Jacobsen, T., Aesthetics of streetscapes: influence of fundamental properties on aesthetic judgments of urban space (2008) Percept Mot Skills, 106, pp. 128-146; Whitfield, A., Individual differences in evaluation of architectural colour: categorization effects (1984) Percept Mot Skills, 59, pp. 183-186; Wundt, W., (1920) Völkerpsychologie (10 Bde), Bd. III: die Kunst, , Leipzig, Kröner-Engelmann, 1900; Zaidel, D.W., (2005) Neuropsychology of Art: Neurological, Cognitive, and Evolutionary Perspectives, , UK, Psychology Press; Zaidel, D.W., Art and brain: insights from neuropsychology, biology and evolution (2010) J Anat, 216, pp. 177-183