Cognitive Processes Underlying the Artistic Experience

Alejandra Wah*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)
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    Abstract

    Based on the field of aesthetics, for centuries philosophers and more recently scientists have been concerned with understanding the artistic experience focusing on emotional responses to the perception of artworks. By contrast, in the last decades, evolutionary biology has been concerned with explaining the artistic experience by focusing on the cognitive processes underlying this experience. Up until now, the cognitive mechanisms that allow humans to experience objects and events as art remain largely unexplored and there is still no conventional use of terms for referring to the processes which may explain why the artistic experience is characteristically human and universal to human beings. In this paper, I first question whether it is productive to understand the artistic experience in terms of perception and emotion, and propose a possible alternative explanation to understand this experience. I argue that this experience is characterized by particular degrees of imagination and consciousness.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)45-58
    Number of pages14
    JournalAvant
    VolumeVIII
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2017

    Keywords

    • artistic experience
    • aesthetics
    • emotion
    • perception
    • imagination
    • consciousness
    • meaning
    • reflective imagination

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