GV Art & Mind Symposium 9: Martin Kemp

A filmed record of the presentation is available at http://vimeo.com/42541466

An article on the Huffington post by Ruth Garde is athttp://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/ruth-garde/art-neuroscience-and-rece_b_1388448.html

Art, Neuroscience and Reception        13 March 2012

Professor Martin Kemp


This presentation will deal with issues of reception and expectation when looking at works of art. The expertise of others is a major social influence on our everyday decisions and actions. Many viewers of art, whether expert or naïve, are convinced that the full aesthetic appreciation of an artwork depends upon the assurance that the work is genuine rather than fake. Rembrandt portraits provide an interesting image set for testing this idea. Recent scholarship has determined that quite a few non-Rembrandts exist. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, viewing of portraits, assigned as ‘copy’ rather than ‘authentic’, has evoked stronger responses in the brain regardless of whether the portrait was actually genuine. It is proposed that the activation of brain networks, rather than a single cortical area, supports the view that aesthetic judgments are multi-faceted and multi-dimensional in nature.

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