Electrophysiological Correlates of Aesthetically Moving Experiences

How does the brain support aesthetically “moving” experiences with visual art in situ? Our previous work using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has identified several brain systems involved in observers’ subjective ratings of whether an artwork is aesthetically appealing. Yet fMRI is not feasible for use outside of a laboratory environment, such as in the museums or performance spaces where one typically engages with aesthetic material.

In this project, we seek to identify electroencephalographic (EEG) features that are correlated with relevant aspects of aesthetic experience, to move out of the lab to more naturalistic environments. Due to EEG’s excellent temporal precision it also allows us to investigate the temporal dynamics of aesthetic eyperiences and underlying brain processes.