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Biological basis of aesthetics...

Joanna Raczaszek RACZASZE at ACC.FAU.EDU
Tue Oct 1 09:59:00 EST 1991


I have the idea that aesthetics must have a biological basis, in the sense
that something aesthetically pleasing evokes different neural activation
patterns than something which is not. Is anything known about that?

Joe Lammens.


Are we materialists or not? EVERY psychological process has biological 
bases - one experience is different from the other (e.g. on the 
dimension of aesthetical pleasure) IN VIRTUE of having different 
biological events as basis - can you see an alternative way of seeing 
this?
Two questions are relevant:
- if the dimension of aesthetical pleasure corresponds to some 
identifiable dimension in the description of neural events going on
(e.g. having sth in common (or not), and what with other pleasant 
experiences e.t.c.)
- what is the origin of these differences - it is worth it to look at 
infant's perception here:
	* there was research by Fantz (I believe 1963??) that showed 
preference for some visual patterns v. early (before 2 month of age - 
even before they show preference for novelty/familiarity!!!).
	* there was a study (sorry I don't remember who and when) 
showing that infants prefer some facial characteristics....
	* Turkewitz and Kenny study (1982) - it is about the formation 
of the visual system and the role of early experience (just not to get 
too excited about Fanz study - these preferences can be functional only in 
a brief period of time).

Good luck,
Joanna Raczaszek
Psychology, Florida Atlantic U.
RACZASZE AT FAUVAX.




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