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Culture & Religion

Does Neuroscience Explain Art?

Distinguished neuroscientist V.S. Ramachandran thinks that neuroscience can explain why humans make, or at least appreciate, art. But do we need a scientific explanation of art?

Director of the Center for Brain and Cognition, and professor of psychology and neurology at the University of California, San Diego, V.S. Ramachandran explains the creation and appreciation of art as a reaction to a series of unconscious stimuli. Just as animals respond universally to certain stimuli, such as being provided food or fleeing from predators, Ramachandran sees the possibly of a universal response system in humans—toward art! We may all appreciate the same, universal aesthetic elements, he says. What’s more, Ramachandran believes the existence of subconscious artistic tendencies can be tested for in laboratory conditions.


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