Feeling Beauty

Something’s happening in your brain when you sense beauty, just as something’s happening in your brain when you eat a chocolate biscuit. One would like to think there is more to looking at a masterpiece by Titian than chewing a Jaffa Cake.


In Feeling Beauty, G. Gabrielle Starr (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G._Gabrielle_Starr) argues that understanding the neural underpinnings of aesthetic experience can reshape our conceptions of aesthetics and the arts. Drawing on the tools of both cognitive neuroscience and traditional humanist inquiry, Starr introduces us to a new discipline – ‘neuro-aesthetics’.  This offers a new model for understanding the dynamic and changing features of aesthetic life, the relationships among the arts, and how individual differences in aesthetic judgement shape the varieties of aesthetic experience.


Starr proposes that aesthetic experience relies on a distributed neural architecture – drawing on all those brain areas involved in emotion, perception, imagery, memory, and language. Focusing on poetry, painting, and music, Starr builds and tests a neural model of aesthetic experience valid across all the arts. She examines particular works of art in a range of media, including a poem by Keats, a painting by van Gogh, a sculpture by Bernini, and Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations.


Check if this excellent piece of investigative science is in stock at your local library by consulting the online catalogue at https://www.sllclibrary.co.uk/cgi-bin/spydus.exe/MSGTRN/OPAC/BSEARCH



280 pages in MIT Press

First published 2013

ISBN  978-0262019316


Dr. G. Gabrielle Starr

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