Experiencing Art: In the Brain of the Beholder

ISBN : 9780199936939

Arthur P. Shimamura
312 ページ
188 x 256 mm

How do we appreciate a work of art? Why do we like some artworks but not others? Is there no accounting for taste? Awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to explore connections between art, mind, and brain, Shimamura considers how we experience art. In a thoughtful and entertaining manner, the book explores how the brain interprets art by engaging our sensations, thoughts, and emotions. It describes interesting findings from psychological and brain sciences as a way to understand our aesthetic response to art. Beauty, disgust, surprise, anger, sadness, horror, and a myriad of other emotions can occur as we experience art. Some artworks may generate such feelings rather quickly, while others depend on thought and knowledge. Our response to art depends largely on what we know-from everyday knowledge about the world, from our cultural backgrounds, and from personal experience. Filled with artworks from many traditions and time points, "Experiencing Art" offers insightful ways of broadening one's approach and appreciation of art.


Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Overture
Act I: The Art of Seeing
Chapter 2: The Eye as Canvas, the Brain as Beholder
Chapter 3. The Illusion of Form
Chapter 4: Making a Scene
Act II: The Art of Knowing
Chapter 5. How Do You Know?
Chapter 6: Remembrance of Past Things
Chapter 7: You Are Cultured
Act III: The Art of Feeling
Chapter 8: Arousing Emotions
Chapter 9: Body Language
Chapter 10: I Know How You Feel
Chapter 11: Coda


Arthur P. Shimamura is Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. He investigates human memory and cognition using neuroimaging techniques and studying individuals with memory disorders. Dr. Shimamura is a founding member of the Society for Cognitive Neuroscience, has been a scientific advisor for the San Francisco Exploratorium Science Museum, and received a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship to explore art, aesthetics and brain.