Lectures and seminars Brain and Culture lecture: A neurophysiological approach to intense aesthetic experiences
Speaker: Eugen Wassiliwizky, Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, Germany
Hosts: Gunnar Bjursell, John Sennett
Join Zoom Meeting on this link:
Meeting ID: 630 6348 6704
A neurophysiological approach to intense aesthetic experiences
Making the audiences feel moved is among the key goals of the arts. We highly appreciate artworks that have this capacity. Recent insights into the nature of intense aesthetic experiences suggest a mixed affective nature of these states. That is, when deeply moved, we often experience a mixture of pleasure and some form of negative affect like sadness, fear, empathic concern, or pity. Almost paradoxically, the negative components seem rather to fuel -- rather than jeopardize -- the overall pleasantness of our experience. One particular challenge for us scientists is to approach these highly complex states empirically and in an experimental setup, in order to understand their neural underpinnings, their elicitation mechanisms, and their evolutionary origin. Here, I will present a method that was designed to give us access to these complex, intense, and yet highly memorable and pleasurable affective states.