Monday, November 23, 2015

Edward A. Vessel Talk:

           Edward Vessel works in neuroscience and he focuses his work on the responses people have toward art and the behind the scenes brain activity that occurs. Using an fMRI machine to record brain activity, Vessel seeks to understand how people and ergo the brain derives pleasure and inspiration from artwork. While I am not very knowledgable on this topic, it is very interesting nonetheless. While other researchers choose to look at the similarities between individual brain reactions to art, Vessel uses the fMRI machine to portray the differences each individual has to art work. In his article, Art Reaches Within: Aesthetic Experience, The Self, and The Default Mode Network, Vessel describes the results for his experiment, "Analysis of the behavioral responses revealed that responses were indeed highly individual: there was little agreement between observers regarding how moving each painting was. This means that, on average, each image was rated as highly moving by one subset of observers and rated poorly by another subset of observers." Indeed, reactions to art between individuals are very different. Thus, proving the old adage, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."

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