Posted: March 13, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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Neuroaesthetics isn’t, its pioneers say, just an elaborate parlor trick: Hey, look at this nude, or this Henry Moore sculpture, and this circuit over here lights up. Rather, it is fundamental to an understanding of human cognition and motivation. Art isn’t, as Kandel paraphrases a concept from the late philosopher of art Denis Dutton, “a byproduct of evolution, but rather an evolutionary adaptation—an instinctual trait—that helps us survive because it is crucial to our well-being.” The arts encode information, stories, and perspectives that allow us to appraise courses of action and the feelings and motives of others in a palatable, low-risk way. Sometimes instinctively, sometimes more consciously, artists play with perception’s variables in keen acknowledgment of the viewer’s active role, which the art historian Ernst Gombrich poetically called the “beholder’s share.”

Read of the day…

(via Eric Kandel’s Visions – The Chronicle Review – The Chronicle of Higher Education)


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