Neuro Humanities Studies

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Grazia Pulvirenti, Renata Gambino, The paradox of Romantic ekphrasis. Metacritic discourse, perception and imagination in art descripti


Ekphrasis is a text genre based on the intertwining of visual and verbal features, involving the processes of both reading, and priming a visual image or a related action. We argue in this study that...

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Cinzia Di Dio, Vittorio Gallese,

Neuroaesthetics: a review


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Year: 2009
Disciplines: Aesthetics; Phenomenology;

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Neuroaesthetics is a relatively young field within cognitive neuroscience, concerned with the neural underpinnings of aesthetic experience of beauty, particularly in visual art. Neuroscientific investigations have approached this area using imaging and neurophysiological techniques, such as functional magnetic resonance (fMRI), magnetoencephalography (MEG) and electroencephalography (EEG). The results produced so far are very heterogeneous. Nonetheless, an overall view of the findings suggests that the aesthetic experience of visual artworks is characterized by the activation of: sensorimotor areas; core emotional centres; and reward-related centres. In the present review, we discuss the functional relevance of these activations and propose that aesthetic experience is a multilevel process exceeding a purely visual analysis of artworks and relying upon visceromotor and somatomotor resonance in the beholder.

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