Thursday, March 23, 2006


I learned a new word today....neuroaesthetics, which is the science of the biological basis of aesthetic experience. In other words the brain is wired to know and appreciate beauty.

I found some interesting writing on this, including 10 principles of art from The Science of Art, by V.S. Ramachandran, written with William Hirstein. This science seems to explore the idea that there are universals in art that cross cultural and/or religious boundaries.

I haven't read all the material but it has me wondering, what about the new? What about culture? Didn't Gombrich already cover much of this? And so on.

Also, the Getty Research Institute will be having a lecture about neuroaesthetics in the near future.


rgmb said...

interesting katherine, i'll have to check out these links. Also, I must say I like the title of your blog. I should have a blog name which would echo the continual instruction of one art instructor I had "Value". It was his mantra with me. He was a stickler for the tonal values, and he was so right and it can mean so many things. The only time I use lean over fat is when I try special techniques, but, of course, that just doesn't cut it for me.

Katherine said...

Thank you rgmb.

Yes, "Value" is a loaded concept in art as in life, although I like the name mind kibble for your blog

I find the easiest way to apply the fat over lean rule is to think flexible over rigid.

Fergus said...

Gombrich did cover much of it, but the (cognitive) science has come a long way since 1956 (or whenever Gombrich gaves his lectures that make up the book).

Katherine said...

Hi fergus,

That's a good point. It's interesting to think about, isn't it?

To me art encompasses an impulse to communicate territory that comes from beyond the brain, or even beyond form, so it is interesting to try to reduce it to something within the brain's structure and chemistry.

The art experience is more than the sum of its parts.

And recipes continue to evolve.