#13: Beauty and Neuroaesthetics

Many people think beauty is something ephemeral, subject to the arbitrary whims of individual taste and cultural trends. But philosophers have been studying beauty and analyzing it for thousands of years, under the name aesthetics, and some of the first studies in scientific psychology were about our perceptions of beauty. Join us on this episode of Minding the Brain to find out about the scientific study of beauty and the field of neuroaesthetics, featuring special guest, Dr. Anjan Chatterjee!

Explore further:


How our desire for social information affects tastes in paintings and belief systems


The Aesthetic Brain (NiP): How We Evolved to Desire Beauty and Enjoy Art

The best books on The Neuroscience of Aesthetics, recommended by Anjan Chatterjee

The Neuroscience of Aesthetics

Riveted: The Science of Why Jokes Make Us Laugh, Movies Make Us Cry, and Religion Makes Us Feel One with the Universe


Further reading:

Orians, G. H. (1986). An ecological and evolutionary approach to landscape aesthetics. In E. C. Penning-Rowsell & D. Lowenthal (Eds.), Landscape Meanings and Values. Allen and Unwin.

Appleton, J. (1975). The Experience of Landscape. New York, NY: Wiley.

Dutton, D. (2009). The Art Instinct: Beauty, Pleasure, and Human Evolution. Bloomsbury Press.

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