Electrical Pulses Sent to the Brain Might Help People Appreciate Art

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Researchers from the University of Milan Bicocca in Italy have found that sending an small electrical current to a person’s brain might help them appreciate classic works of art.

Can't make sense of any artwork you come across?

Researchers from the University of Milan Bicocca in Italy have found that sending a small electrical current to a person’s brain might help them appreciate classic works of art.

The study involved a subject group of 12 people who were shown paintings and asked to rate the images before and after getting either a transcranial direct current stimulation from electrodes to their left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex which processes emotion, or a fake treatment with no current..

Study subjects rated realistic works of art higher after receiving the electrical current, which might indicate that the area of the brain being stimulated plays a role in how we view certain kinds of art.

John Hyman, professor of aesthetics at the University of Oxford commenting on the research said: “The study of art and aesthetic experience involves difficult and contested concepts. Neuroscience can't help us to understand these things unless it is combined with philosophy, in other words, with the study of these concepts.”

This study falls into the relatively new field of research known as neuroaesthetics, which attempts to figure out how our brains make aesthetic judgments deciding whether something is visually appealing or not.

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