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Brown Bag Lectures are informal, public talks that are followed by extensive dissussions. Speakers are KLI fellows or visiting researchers who are interested in presenting their work to an interdisciplinary audience and discussing it in a wider research context. The Brown Bag Lecture series was discontinued in 2014 with the KLI moving to its new premises in Klosterneuburg. In 2014 the KLI Colloquia were established as the new lecture series.

Event Details

Marcos Nadal
KLI Brown Bag
Evolution of Aesthetic Appreciations
Marcos NADAL (KLI)
2010-12-16 13:15 - 2010-12-16 13:15
KLI
Organized by KLI

Topic description:
Evolutionary psychology has provided a fruitful framework for the development of several hypotheses regarding the evolution of aesthetic appreciation. These accounts generally assume that aesthetic appreciation is the product of content-specific information-processing mechanisms that evolved in a certain environment to solve particular adaptive problems. In this talk, Nadal will review results from the fields of empirical aesthetics, neuroimaging, and comparative neuroscience, and discuss their implications for approaches to the evolution of aesthetic appreciation. This review suggests that aesthetic appreciation is the result of several cognitive and affective processes associated with activity in diverse brain regions, none of which seems to play an exclusive role in the aesthetic experience. Furthermore, he argues that aesthetic appreciation is the result of a kind of mosaic evolution. Whereas some of these underlying processes and their neural correlates must have appeared at some point in the human lineage, others seem to have been inherited from earlier primate ancestors. In his presentation, Nadal will review results from the fields of empirical aesthetics, neuroimaging, and comparative neuroscience, and discuss their implications for approaches to the evolution of aesthetic appreciation. This review suggests that aesthetic appreciation is the result of several cognitive and affective processes associated with activity in diverse brain regions. Furthermore, he argues that aesthetic appreciation is the result of a kind of mosaic evolution.

 

Biographical note:
Marcos Nadal holds a PhD in Human Cognition and Evolution from the University of the Balearic Islands. His doctoral thesis, defended in 2007, explored the effects of different kinds of visual complexity on aesthetic valuation of artistic and non-artistic visual stimuli. Since then he has been involved in neuroscientific and evolutionary studies of human cognition, especially aesthetic valuation. His current research aims to understand the relations between the cognitive processes, neural mechanisms, and evolutionary events that have endowed humans with the capacity for aesthetic valuation.