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Art, Aesthetics, and the Brain$
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Joseph P. Huston, Marcos Nadal, Francisco Mora, Luigi F. Agnati, and Camilo José Cela Conde

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199670000

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199670000.001.0001

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From pleasure to liking and back: Bottom-up and top-down neural routes to the aesthetic enjoyment of music

From pleasure to liking and back: Bottom-up and top-down neural routes to the aesthetic enjoyment of music

Chapter:
(p.303) Chapter 15 From pleasure to liking and back: Bottom-up and top-down neural routes to the aesthetic enjoyment of music
Source:
Art, Aesthetics, and the Brain
Author(s):

Elvira Brattico

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199670000.003.0015

This chapter analyses the neural mechanisms that generate the aesthetic emotion of musical enjoyment. First, it focuses on the bottom-up succession of neural events from the periphery to the central nervous system that leads to musical enjoyment (the sensory hypothesis of musical pleasure). Then it examines the cognitive, top-down route from prefrontal and associative cortices to peripheral reactions (the conceptual hypothesis of musical pleasure). These two distinct neural mechanisms explain paradoxical cases when the cognitive enjoyment of music does not match sensory pleasure. Finally, internal contextual factors such as expertise, mood, personality, and genes, and external contextual factors such as the presence of peers and the environment, are pointed out as the plausible origins of idiosyncrasies in musical enjoyment.

Keywords:   music, functional magnetic resonance imaging, sensory dissonance, cognitive dissonance, social interaction, enjoyment, pleasure, emotion, liking, candidate gene

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