Mind and Brain lectures
KOSMOS Fellow’s Lecture: Vittorio Gallese (Parma), “The body, symbolic expression and its experience: An experimental aesthetics perspective”
Vittorio Gallese is KOSMOS Fellow 2013-2014.
Today cognitive neuroscience has the means to shed new light – from its own methodological reductionist perspective – on the aesthetic quality of human nature and its natural creative inclination. This new research field, experimental aesthetics, can enrich our understanding of symbolic expression and its reception, by studying their neural and bodily components. The defnition of art and the way we appreciate it are both historically and socio-culturally determined. However, while acknowledging that aesthetic experience is multilayered, the cognitive primacy of our reactions to the outcomes of symbolic expression can be challenged. I’ll review empirical work on the aesthetic experience of static and moving images like paintings, and movies. I posit that the aesthetic experience of the outcomes of human symbolic expression can be grounded on the variety of embodied simulation mechanisms they evoke