Neuroaesthetics of the soul

Neuroaesthetics is killing your soul

Can brain scans ever tell us why we like art? by Philip Ball

Excerpt: “… to suggest that the human brain responds in a particular way to art risks creating criteria of right or wrong, either in the art itself or in individual reactions to it. Although it is a risk that most researchers are likely to recognize, experience suggests that scientists studying art find it hard to resist drawing up rules for critical judgements.”

From an “Interview with Dr. Jaak Panksepp, Author of Affective Neuroscience: The Foundations of Human and Animal Emotions:

“My feeling is that the social brain has many levels. If you don’t understand the foundational level, then you can do brain imaging until you’re blue in the face, but you still will not understand the process at a deep causal level.”

 My comment: (note:  I am banned from commenting to the Nature site due to past ‘inappropriate’ comments)

Clearly, Panksepp’s perspective on the social brain holds true in the context of adaptively evolved neuroaesthetics. Cause and effect is established at the molecular level of adaptive evolution of the brain and behavior. For example, in my model, food odors and pheromones epigenetically cause changes in levels of hormones that affect behavior via alterations in synaptogenesis, synaptolysis, and apoptosis. The neuroaesthetic appeal of food, conspecifics, or anything else typically attributed primarily to visual input or to auditory input is due to experience-dependent associations with epigenetic effects of sensory input on gene activation in hormone-secreting nerve cells of brain tissue.

Thus, our artistic understanding and experience cannot be wholly defined or explained via brain imagery or anything else that does not encompass the entirety of our sensory experience, which begins with chemical exchange via the placenta while we are still in the womb.  Brain scans tell us nothing specific about individual neuroaesthetics; they tell us nothing about how our soul differs from any other.

Author: James Kohl

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