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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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Art as a Human “Instinct-Like” behavior Emerging from the Exaptation of the Communication Processes

Art as a Human “Instinct-Like” behavior Emerging from the Exaptation of the Communication Processes

(p.426) Chapter 22 Art as a Human “Instinct-Like” behavior Emerging from the Exaptation of the Communication Processes
Art, Aesthetics, and the Brain

Luigi F. Agnati

Diego D. Guidolin

Kjell K. Fuxe

Oxford University Press

Human beings have a unique basic drive to “communicate by symbols”. This chapter posits that this behaviour has been exaptated, leading to artwork production and appreciation. The neurobiological bases of such behaviour is analysed, surveying neuroimaging investigations in neuroaesthetics. The main findings have been interpreted within the framework of the hypothesis on the existence of functional modules in the brain, organized as Russian dolls that are assembled via wiring, and volume transmission in mosaics capable of complex integrative actions. The concept of redeployment of a neural structure for a new function is used to support the possibility of the assembly of functional different mosaics from the same set of FMs. Insula and ACC triggering the activation of reward circuits in response to artworks might explain the aesthetic response. The peculiarities and possible role of von Economo neurons present in the ACC and FI are discussed from evolutionary and neurochemical perspectives.

Keywords:   communication by symbols, exaptation, functional modules, volume transmission, wiring transmission, von Economo neurons

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