The Arts and The Brain

The Arts and The Brain

Psychology and Physiology Beyond Pleasure

1st Edition - May 16, 2018

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  • Editors: Julia Christensen, Antoni Gomila
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780128139813
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128139820

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The Arts and the Brain: Psychology and Physiology beyond Pleasure, Volume 237, combines the work of an excellent group of experts who explain evidence on the neural and biobehavioral science of the arts. Topics covered include the emergence of early art and the evolution of human culture, the interaction between cultural and biological evolutionary processes in generating artistic creation, the nature of the aesthetic experience of art, the arts as a multisensory experience, new insights from the neuroscience of dance, a systematic review of the biological impact of music, and more.

Key Features

  • Builds bridges and makes new connections between neuroscientists, psychologists and the arts world
  • Unravels the neural, neuroendocrine, physiological, hormonal and evolutionary dimensions of the arts
  • Contains chapters from true authorities in the field


Researchers and students of neuroscience, psychology, and the biological sciences. Art Practitioners (coaches and artists) interested in understanding the impact that art can have in human life

Table of Contents

  • The Arts, Brain and Evolution
    1. Art, Symbolism and the Evolution of the Brain
    2. Emergence of early art and the evolution of human culture
    3. On the interaction between cultural and biological evolutionary processes in generating artistic creativity

    The Arts and Psychology
    4. The nature of aesthetic experience of art
    5. Art appreciation as an emotional process - beyond aesthetic experience
    6. The Singular Experience: Characterizing the Emotional Response to Art Beyond Pleasure
    7. An empirical paper on audience responses to film

    The Arts and Physiology
    8. Why we like what we like? Tracking the neurophysiological responses linked to aesthetic appreciation
    9. The arts as a multisensory experience
    10. Interceptive predictions and aesthetic relatedness to images
    11. How artists represent visual processes

    The Arts and the Brain
    12. Art and Brain, and integrative overview
    13. Seeking Salience in Engaging Art:  A Short Story about Attention, Artistic Value, and Affective Neuroscience
    14. New insights from the neuroscience of dance
    15. Embodied aesthetics in the visual and the performing arts

    The Arts and Biology
    16. Music, dance and other art forms: new insights into the links between hedonia (pleasure) and eudaimonia (well-being)
    17. A systematic review of the biological impact of music
    18. Biology and aesthetics in music and the visual arts
    19. Alexithymia, arts and health

    Arts Expertise and learning
    20. Developmental perspectives on the social and emotional role of music and dance
    21. Music Education and the Brain
    22. Dance learning among adolescents and young adults: Insights from brain imaging and behaviour
    23. Is there a moral bettering through the arts?

Product details

  • No. of pages: 530
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2018
  • Published: May 16, 2018
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780128139813
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128139820

About the Serial Volume Editors

Julia Christensen

Julia Christensen
Dr. Julia F. Christensen is a postdoctoral Fellow of the B.I.A.S. project (NOMIS foundation) at the Warburg Institute, University of London, and a Newton International Research Fellow Alumni (British Academy) in the Cognitive Neuroscience Research Unit (CNRU) and the Autism Research Group (ARG) at the Psychology Department (City, University of London). She is also an honorary member of the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience (University College London; UCL). Her current work explores the neural underpinnings of emotional expertise in dance. In this approach she works with dancers and other artists as participants to uncover the neurocognitive mechanisms that make these groups of people so highly emotionally sensitive. She has a strong interest in dance herself as she trained as a professional dancer before becoming a neuroscientist. Her PhD work with Professor Camilo Cela-Conde (University of the Balearic Islands; UIB) and Dr. Marcos Nadal (University of Vienna) investigated the affective mechanisms involved in watching dance and how that affective experience is modulated by relevant expertise (e.g., in dance) (title ”Dance moves: Affective responses to expressive body movement”). Dr. Christensen has also worked in the field of Neuroscience of morality under the supervision of Professor Antoni Gomila (UIB), and was a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience with Professor Patrick Haggard (UCL), leading a series of studies investigating how agents’ sense of agency over their actions is modulated by the emotional context in which an action occurs. Dr. Christensen uses behavioural, psychophysiological and neuroimaging methods. Dr. Christensen uses behavioural, psychophysiological and neuroimaging methods and has published a series of articles in international peer reviewed journals on the topics of neuroscience and psychology of dance and the arts, morality, empathy, ethics and autism. She is author of the German popular science book about dance ‘Tanzen ist die beste Medizin’ [‘Dance is the best medicine’], to appear in May 2018.

Affiliations and Expertise

Postdoctoral Fellow, University of London, UK

Antoni Gomila

Professor Antoni Gomia is Full Professor of Psychology (Thinking and Language), at the Psychology Departament of the University of the Balearic Islands, Spain. His background is in Philosophy and his interests have centred on issues at the “no man’s land” of the frontiers between philosophy of mind, psychology and cognitive science: representation and meaning, expression and intersubjectivity, intentional explanation and rationality, also taking an evolutionary perspective into account in order to make sense of what makes us human. He co-edited a Handbook of Cognitive Science: an embodied approach (Elsevier, 2009), with Paco Calvo, and is the author of Verbal Minds: Language and the Architecture of the Mind (Elsevier, 2013). His current interest centers around moral psychology and the evolution of morality.

Affiliations and Expertise

Full Professor, University of the Balearic Islands, Spain

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