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Art, Aesthetics, and the Brain$
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Joseph P. Huston, Marcos Nadal, Francisco Mora, Luigi F. Agnati, and Camilo José Cela Conde

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199670000

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199670000.001.0001

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Hemispheric Specialization, Art, and Aesthetics

Hemispheric Specialization, Art, and Aesthetics

(p.373) Chapter 19 Hemispheric Specialization, Art, and Aesthetics
Art, Aesthetics, and the Brain

Dahlia W. Zaidel

Oxford University Press

Interest in brain and art gained momentum when findings on the complete commissurotomy (“split-brain”) patients in Roger Sperry’s laboratory at Caltech started to appear in the scientific literature. Although interest in art and brain did not begin with these patients, those studies sparked the interest of scientists and laypersons, particularly with regards to hemispheric specialization. As a result of the scientific excitement, they assigned cognitive attributes and skills to the cerebral hemispheres when there was no empirical support for doing so. One such “assignment” was associating right hemisphere specialization and both art production and art perception. This has turned into a dominant and scientifically fashionable approach to art and brain, so much so that alternative interpretations of empirical art-related data have been glossed over. Nevertheless, relevant findings concerning brain laterality, hemispheric specialization, and aspects of visual art have been reported in the scientific literature and are covered here.

Keywords:   laterality, brain, hemispheric specialization, neuroscience, commissurotomy, split-brain, face asymmetry

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