Looking for Beauty in the Brain

Estetika 45 (1):5-23 (2008)
Abstract
The emerging research area of neuroaesthetics has provoked a good deal of discussion. Although it seems reasonable to describe the experience of aesthetic enjoyment as a mental event, and it also seems reasonable to claim that mental states must be related to brain states, the search for specific brain states that correlate with aesthetic enjoyment is tricky, despite the many recent advances in brain-imaging technology. Correlating the aesthetic experience with specific brain states involves defining the aesthetic experience. By applying a model from the world of empirical consciousness research to three neuroaesthetic experiments, I show that each of these studies approaches the object of study, the aesthetic experience, from a different perspective. By employing a framework to make explicit the sometimes implicit assumptions involved in neuroaesthetic research, I hope to open a new avenue for the continuation of an already fascinating discussion.
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