Art and aesthetics has enjoyed a long history of philosophy and investigation. Currently, most research is undertaken by either cultural sociology and cognitive neuroscience (neuroaesthetics). However, these fields mostly operate in isolation and, in doing so, fail to incorporate each other’s theoretical and methodological knowledge. The research reported in this dissertation is an attempt to bridge this divide. For instance, the effect of contrast on art appreciation, postulated as a universal law in neuroaesthetics, was investigated, with positive results, in an ecologically valid manner and incorporated socially and culturally relevant factors. Also, the effect of context and framing was investigated at the level of the brain by presenting regular photographs as works of art and measuring the electromagnetic current along the scalp. The dissertation paints an optimistic picture for fruitful further collaboration between cultural sociology and cognitive neuroscience in their quest to understand and explain art and aesthetics.

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C.J.M. van Eijck (Koen) , J.W. van Strien (Jan) , K. Dijkstra (Katinka)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Arts & Culture Studies

van Dongen, N. (2020, September 4). Investigations into Art Appreciation: An Interdisciplinary Approach. Retrieved from