An Explanation for the Role of the Amygdala in Aesthetic Judgments

Richard H. A. H. Jacobs*, Frans W. Cornelissen

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)
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    Abstract

    It has been proposed that the top-down guidance of feature-based attention is the basis for the involvement of the amygdala in various tasks requiring emotional decisionmaking (Jacobs et al., 2012a). Aesthetic judgments are correlated with particular visual features and can be considered emotional in nature (Jacobs et al., 2016). Moreover, we have previously shown that various aesthetic judgments result in observers preferentially attending to different visual features (Jacobs et al., 2010). Here, we argue that-together-this explains why the amygdalae become active during aesthetic judgments of visual materials. We discuss potential implications and predictions of this theory that can be tested experimentally.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number80
    Number of pages7
    JournalFrontiers in Human Neuroscience
    Volume11
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2-Mar-2017

    Keywords

    • neuroaesthetics
    • aesthetic judgment
    • amygdala
    • feature-based attention
    • beauty
    • functional magnetic resonance imaging
    • FEARFUL FACES
    • OBJECTIVE EVALUATION
    • FACIAL EXPRESSION
    • BRAIN ACTIVATION
    • EMOTIONAL FACES
    • EYE-MOVEMENTS
    • VISUAL-SEARCH
    • COLOR DESIGN
    • STIMULATION
    • ATTENTION

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