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The Aesthetic Brain
Start Date: 5/15/2019Start Time: 5:30 PM
End Date: 5/15/2019End Time: 7:00 PM

Event Description
In the 19th Century Gustav Fechner, the father of empirical aesthetics, had three fundamental insights relevant to contemporary neuroaesthetics. Properties of the world are systematically related to properties of the mind. Aesthetics could be an empirical science “from below.” Finally, in addition to outer psychophysics, there had to be an inner psychophysics. I will apply Fechner’s insights to contemporary neuroaesthetics in the context of beauty. I will focus on faces as a prototypical object that can be beautiful and consider factors that contribute to facial beauty and how our brains respond to this beauty. It turns out that we respond to beauty automatically even when we are not engaged in evaluation, per se. In addition, we have automatic neural responses to the aesthetics of architectural interiors. We also associate beauty with goodness, a phenomenon with undesirable consequences. I will review recent work from my lab on people’s behavioral and neural responses to facial anomalies which also turns out to be automatic and problematic. Finally, I will speculate on one role that art, in the context of faces, might play in emotional regulation.

For more information or to register, click here.
Location:
Drexel University Center City Campus
Room 603, Three Parkway Building, 1601 Cherry Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Audience:
  • Everyone

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