neuroaesthetics

Aesthetics: the perception, production, and response to art, as well as interactions with objects and scenes that evoke an intense feeling, often pleasure

How much of the aesthetic experience resides in a perceptual experience and how much resides in the emotional response to the artwork?

Early vision extracts simple elements from the visual environment such as color, luminance, shape, motion, and location (Livingstone and Hubel, 1987, 1988). Intermediate vision segregates some elements and groups other together to form coherent regions in what would otherwise be a chaotic and overwhelming sensory array (Ricci, Vaishinavi, & Chatterjee, 1999; Vecera & Behrmann, 1997). Late vision selects which of these coherent regions to scrutinize and evokes memories from which objects are recognized and meanings are attached (Farah, 2000).

Any work of art can be decomposed into its early, intermediate, and late vision components. Artists isolate and enhance different visual attributes (Matisse – color, Calder – motion). Artists endeavor to uncover important distinctions in the visual world.

How does one quantify seemingly ineffable experiences, such as the Kantian idea of “sublime?”

— Adapted from Chatterjee, 2010

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