The Arts and The Brain: Psychology and Physiology Beyond Pleasure

arts and the brain

A whole new volume of Progress in Brain Research, edited by Julia F. Christensen & Antoni Gomila, devoted to the psychology and neuroscience of art:

Progress in Brain Research Volume 237, Pages 2-484 (2018)

The volume includes 22 chapters written by an amazing line-up of contributors:

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The Arts, Brain and Evolution
1. Art, Symbolism and the Evolution of the Brain
2. Emergence of early art and the evolution of human culture
3. On the interaction between cultural and biological evolutionary processes in generating artistic creativity

The Arts and Psychology
4. The nature of aesthetic experience of art
5. Art appreciation as an emotional process – beyond aesthetic experience
6. The Singular Experience: Characterizing the Emotional Response to Art Beyond Pleasure
7. An empirical paper on audience responses to film

The Arts and Physiology
8. Why we like what we like? Tracking the neurophysiological responses linked to aesthetic appreciation
9. The arts as a multisensory experience
10. Interceptive predictions and aesthetic relatedness to images
11. How artists represent visual processes

The Arts and the Brain
12. Art and Brain, and integrative overview
13. Seeking Salience in Engaging Art: A Short Story about Attention, Artistic Value, and Affective Neuroscience
14. New insights from the neuroscience of dance
15. Embodied aesthetics in the visual and the performing arts

The Arts and Biology
16. Music, dance and other art forms: new insights into the links between hedonia (pleasure) and eudaimonia (well-being)
17. A systematic review of the biological impact of music
18. Biology and aesthetics in music and the visual arts
19. Alexithymia, arts and health

Arts Expertise and learning
20. Developmental perspectives on the social and emotional role of music and dance
21. Music Education and the Brain
22. Dance learning among adolescents and young adults: Insights from brain imaging and behaviour
23. Is there a moral bettering through the arts?

 

See a preview of the book here!

The Arts and the Brain: Psychology and Physiology beyond Pleasure, Volume 237, combines the work of an excellent group of experts who explain evidence on the neural and biobehavioral science of the arts. Topics covered include the emergence of early art and the evolution of human culture, the interaction between cultural and biological evolutionary processes in generating artistic creation, the nature of the aesthetic experience of art, the arts as a multisensory experience, new insights from the neuroscience of dance, a systematic review of the biological impact of music, and more.

 

Books update

chattIf you still don’t have Anjan Chatterjee’s The Aesthetic Brain: How We Evolved to Desire Beauty and Enjoy Art, it’s now available as a paperback!

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oup coverIf you’re  looking for something to go with it, Art, Aesthetics and the Brain, edited by Huston and colleagues, is now out of the oven and still warm!

Forthcoming: Art, Aesthetics and the Brain

Watch out for this new book, which will be released July this year: Huston, J. P.; Nadal, M.; Mora, F.; Agnati, L. F. & Cela-Conde, C. J. (Eds.) (2015). Art, Aesthetics and the Brain. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

oup cover

Description:

Humans have engaged in artistic and aesthetic activities since the appearance of our species. Our ancestors have decorated their bodies, tools, and utensils for over 100,000 years. The expression of meaning using color, line, sound, rhythm, or movement, among other means, constitutes a fundamental aspect of our species’ biological and cultural heritage. Art and aesthetics, therefore, contribute to our species identity and distinguish it from its living and extinct relatives.

Science is faced with the challenge of explaining the natural foundations of such a unique trait, and the way cultural processes nurture it into magnificent expressions, historically and ethnically unique. How does the human brain bring about these sorts of behaviors? What neural processes underlie the appreciation of painting, music, and dance? How does training modulate these processes? How are they impaired by brain lesions and neurodegenerative diseases? How did such neural underpinnings evolve? Are humans the only species capable of aesthetic appreciation, or are other species endowed with the rudiments of this capacity?

This volume brings together the work on such questions by leading experts in genetics, psychology, neuroimaging, neuropsychology, art history, and philosophy. It sets the stage for a cognitive neuroscience of art and aesthetics, understood in the broadest possible terms. With sections on visual art, dance, music, neuropsychology, and evolution, the breadth of this volume’s scope reflects the richness and variety of topics and methods currently used today by scientists to understand the way our brain endows us with the faculty to produce and appreciate art and aesthetics.

Contents:

Section One: Foundational Issues 

  1.  Neuroculture: A new cultural revolution?, Francisco Mora
  2. Art, meaning, and aesthetics: the case for a cognitive neuroscience of art, William P. Seeley
  3. States, people, and contexts: Three psychological challenges for the neuroscience of aesthetics, Kirill Fayn and Paul J. Silvia
  4. Aesthetic appreciation – convergence from experimental aesthetics and physiology, Helmut Leder, Gernot Gerger and David Brieber
  5. The moving eye of the beholder. Eye-tracking and the perception of paintings, Christoph Klein and Raphael Rosenberg

Section Two: Cognitive Neuroscience of Visual Aesthetics and Art 

  1. Neural mechanisms for evaluating the attractiveness of faces, Spas Getov and Joel S. Winston
  2. Indeterminate art works and the human brain, Robert Pepperell and Alumit Ishai
  3. Contextual bias and insulation against bias during esthetic rating: the implication of VMPFC and DLPFC in neural valuation, Ulrich Kirk and David Freedberg
  4. Neuroimaging studies of making aesthetic products, Oshin Vartanian

Section Three: Cognitive Neuroscience of Dance 

  1. Beautiful embodiment: The shaping of aesthetic preference by personal experience, Emily S. Cross
  2. Sensorimotor aesthetics: Neural correlates of aesthetic perception of dance, Beatriz Calvo-Merino
  3. Towards ecological validity in empirical aesthetics of dance, Julia F. Christensen and Corinne Jola

Section Four: Cognitive Neuroscience of Music 

  1. Liking music: Genres, contextual factors, and individual differences, Kathleen A. Corrigall and E. Glenn Schellenberg
  2. Tension-resolution patterns as a key element of aesthetic experience: psychological principles and underlying brain mechanisms, Moritz Lehne and Stefan Koelsch
  3. From pleasure to liking and back: Bottom-up and top-down neural routes to the aesthetic enjoyment of music, Elvira Brattico
  4. Effects of expertise on the cognitive and neural processes involved in musical appreciation, Marcus T. Pearce

Section Five: Neuropsychology of Art and Aesthetics 

  1. The neuropsychology of visual art, Anjan Chatterjee
  2. The creation of art in the setting of dementia, Indre Viskontas and Suzee Lee
  3. Hemispheric specialization, art, and aesthetics, Dahlia W. Zaidel

Section Six: The Evolution of Art, Aesthetics, and the Brain 

  1. Towards a comparative approach to empirical aesthetics, Gesche Westphal-Fitch and W. Tecumseh Fitch
  2. Art and brain coevolution, Camilo J. Cela-Conde and Francisco J. Ayala
  3. Art as a human “instinct-like” behaviour emerging from the exaptation of the communication processes, Luigi F. Agnati, Diego Guidolin, and Kjell Fuxe

Section Seven: Integrative Approaches 

  1. Neurobiological foundations of art and aesthetics, Edmund T. Rolls
  2. Aesthetic evaluation of art: a formal approach, Alexander J. Huston and Joseph P. Huston
  3. Tempos of eternity: music, volition, and playing with time, Barbara G. Goodrich