Experiencing art in social settings

Lee, Haeeun and Orgs, Guido. 2022. Experiencing art in social settings. In: Martin Skov and Marcos Nadal, eds. The Routledge International Handbook of Neuroaesthetics. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 448-460. ISBN 9781003008675 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

Art is often experienced together rather than alone, in galleries, theatres and concert halls. While research in empirical aesthetics—an in particular neuroaesthetics—has thrived in the past two decades, existing theories and studies almost exclusively focus on the aesthetic experience of a single person in isolation, ignoring the social context in which art experiences typically occur. One of the reasons for the solitary focus of aesthetics research is that neuroimaging methods are only suited to collect measurements from one person at a time. However, mobile phones, wearable psychophysiological sensors and new portable neuroimaging methods allow simultaneous recordings of behavioural, psychophysiological and brain signals from multiple in naturalistic settings. This chapter reviews recent studies exploring social influences on the aesthetic experience of performing arts, music and film, with a specific focus on measures of interpersonal coordination at behavioural, physiological and neural levels between people experiencing an artwork together or between artists audiences. Although in its infancy, the study of how aesthetic experience depend on social context is an exciting and new avenue for research in empirical aesthetics acknowledging the social and situated nature of aesthetic experience and art appreciation.

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"This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge in 'The Routledge International Handbook of Neuroaesthetics' on 6 September 2022, available online: https://www.routledge.com/The-Routledge-International-Handbook-of-Neuroaesthetics/Skov-Nadal/p/book/9780367442743. It is deposited under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.”


art, social context, aesthetic experience

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6 September 2022Published Online

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Date Deposited:

03 Jan 2023 11:57

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06 Mar 2024 02:26



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