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Motion, emotion and empathy in esthetic experience
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Motion, emotion and empathy in esthetic experience

Author: David Freedberg Affiliation: Department of Art History and Archeology, Columbia University, 826 Schermerhorn Hall, 1190 Amsterdam Avenue, New York 10027, USA; Vittorio Gallese Affiliation: Department of Neuroscience, University of Parma, Via Volturno 39, I-43100 Parma, Italy
Edition/Format: Article Article : English
Publication:Trends in Cognitive Sciences, v11 n5 (200705): 197-203
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Summary:
The implications of the discovery of mirroring mechanisms and embodied simulation for empathetic responses to images in general, and to works of visual art in particular, have not yet been assessed. Here, we address this issue and we challenge the primacy of cognition in responses to art. We propose that a crucial element of esthetic response consists of the activation of embodied mechanisms encompassing the  Read more...
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Document Type: Article
All Authors / Contributors: David Freedberg Affiliation: Department of Art History and Archeology, Columbia University, 826 Schermerhorn Hall, 1190 Amsterdam Avenue, New York 10027, USA; Vittorio Gallese Affiliation: Department of Neuroscience, University of Parma, Via Volturno 39, I-43100 Parma, Italy
ISSN:1364-6613
Language Note: English
Unique Identifier: 5903307947
Notes: Opinion
Awards:

Abstract:

The implications of the discovery of mirroring mechanisms and embodied simulation for empathetic responses to images in general, and to works of visual art in particular, have not yet been assessed. Here, we address this issue and we challenge the primacy of cognition in responses to art. We propose that a crucial element of esthetic response consists of the activation of embodied mechanisms encompassing the simulation of actions, emotions and corporeal sensation, and that these mechanisms are universal. This basic level of reaction to images is essential to understanding the effectiveness both of everyday images and of works of art. Historical, cultural and other contextual factors do not preclude the importance of considering the neural processes that arise in the empathetic understanding of visual artworks.

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