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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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Indeterminate artworks and the human brain

Indeterminate artworks and the human brain

Chapter:
(p.143) Chapter 7 Indeterminate artworks and the human brain
Source:
Art, Aesthetics, and the Brain
Author(s):

Robert C. Pepperell

Alumit Ishai

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199670000.003.0007

What happens in our brain when we look at indeterminate art works? A unique collaboration between an artist and a neuroscientist resulted in a series of behavioural and functional brain imaging studies. The main findings suggest that when confronted with indeterminate visual input, the human brain automatically solves the perceptual dilemma by generating predictions about their content, based on familiar associations stored in memory. Viewing art is therefore not a passive process, but rather a dynamic cognitive function that engages distributed cortical networks activated during the allocation of attention, mental imagery, and retrieval from memory.

Keywords:   aesthetics, art, brain, Cubism, fMRI, objects, neuroscience, visual indeterminacy, visual perception

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