Beauty and the Brain


Aesthetics aren’t all about pleasure. They’re about emotion, and we have many, many emotions that we deal with.

Susan Magsamen Executive Director of the International Arts + Mind Lab at Johns Hopki...


Philosophers debate the nature of beauty, and poets write tributes to it, but how does science answer the age-old question of whether beauty is in the eye of the beholder? The growing field of neuroaesthetics seeks to illuminate our understanding of how our brains respond to people, places, and things we find beautiful. Designers and architects are now using what science teaches us to create spaces that look and feel different than in previous generations. How will this increased collaboration between scientists and artists affect our world and the way we live? What are the benefits of this paradigm shift, and how do we respond to critics who worry about reducing our experience with art to biological processes? Is art a science, after all?

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