This is all about, in a word, perception.
Neuroaesthetics is an emerging field of study haunted by interdisciplinary practitioners who all have one thing in common: they are using new understandings of cognitive science to approach the fine arts. Technologies that were developed to better study the brain are being repurposed in order to study painting, music, literature, and cinema. Some of the most interesting proponents of a neurological approach to art include writers Semir Zeki, Margaret Livingstone, Oliver Sacks, Jonah Lehrer, VS Ramachandran, Walter Murch, and programs like RadioLab.
Neuroaesthetics gives us an opportunity to reframe classical and contemporary art. Classical artists may not have known the exact science of perception, but intuitively understood how the brain perceives the world. Some contemporary artists are taking advantage of recent breakthroughs in neuroscience and applying it directly to their work. Painters like Cézanne and Mondrian had an intuitive sense of how the brain works; contemporary artists like Nathan Cohen and Tatsuo Miyajima have had exposure to cognitive science and apply it directly to their work. In the coming posts, I’ll explore both of these tracks. Imaging devices like MRIs and eye-tracking are allowing us to study the circuitry of the brain in much greater resolution and depth than ever before. Now, we have a means to peer directly into the brain in a way where, previously, we could only guess.
However, with new tools come new responsibilities.
Via Ashish Umre