Understanding aesthetic experience using multisensory extended reality
The University of New South Wales (UNSW Sydney) is seeking expressions of interest from bright-minded and highly energetic individuals who are ready to apply for a Scientia PhD scholarship to support their multidisciplinary research training in a project focusing on the science and art of aesthetics in multisensory experience.
The supervisory team includes Dr Juno Kim (School of Optometry and Vision Science, Faculty of Science), Professor Branka Spehar (School of Psychology, Faculty of Science) and A/Prof Tomasz Bednarz (School of Art & Design, Faculty of Art & Design)
We rely on information from all our senses when making aesthetic judgments. Recent work on visual perception has established fractal- and natural scene statistics-based frameworks to identify characteristics of image structure predictive of aesthetic preference. However, little is known about whether these fractal and structural characteristics are shared across senses. This multidisciplinary project will be the first to combine cutting-edge methods in computer graphics, virtual reality, 3D printing, psychological science and computational modelling to understand the cross-sensory perceptual processes that govern our experience of surfaces and materials in realistic everyday scenarios.
The ideal candidate will be a self-starter who is highly capable of applying research subject matter across diverse fields of the arts, psychology and computer science. They should currently hold an undergraduate Bachelor’s degree with honours in psychology, computer science, vision science or equivalent Master’s program of study. The ideal candidate would have already initiated a publication track record in the area of the proposed project.
The ideal candidate will have demonstrated relevant multi-disciplinary knowledge and experience in the following key research approaches relevant to the project:
*Psychophysics or Human Computer Interactivity (HCI) research on the quantification of human experience.
*Knowledge of methods used in Computer Graphics and 3D simulation.
*Understands lighting simulation and rendering material properties of surfaces
(e.g., diffuse and specular shaders).
*Knowledge and experience with programming applications (e.g., using C/C++, Unity or Unreal engines).
*Able to implement best practices in data analysis and computational modelling.
Artworks as dichotomous objects: implications for the scientific study of aesthetic experience
Pepperell R (2015) Artworks as dichotomous objects: implications for the scientific study of aesthetic experience. Front. Hum. Neurosci. 9:295. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2015.00295
This paper addresses an issue that has been studied from both scientific and art theoretical perspectives, namely the dichotomous nature of representational artworks. Representational artworks are dichotomous in that they present us with two distinct aspects at once. In one aspect we are aware of what is represented while in the other we are aware of the material from which the representation is composed. The dichotomy arises due the incompatibility, indeed contradiction, between these aspects of awareness, both of which must be present if we are to fully appreciate the artwork. Examples from art history are given to show how artists have exploited this dichotomy in a way that conditions our response to their work. I hypothesize that the degree of manifest dichotomy in a work determines the strength of its aesthetic effect, and propose this could be experimentally tested. I conclude that scientific studies of aesthetic experience should take the dichotomous nature of artworks into account.
Read the whole paper!