Neuropsychopharmacological aesthetics: A theoretical consideration of pharmacological approaches to causative brain study in aesthetics and art

Blanca Spee, Tomohiro Ishizu, Helmut Leder, Jan Mikuni, Hideaki Kawabata, Matthew Pelowski

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Recent developments in neuroaesthetics have heightened the need for causative approaches to more deeply understand the mechanism underlying perception, emotion, and aesthetic experiences. This has recently been the topic for empirical work, employing several causative methods for changing brain activity, as well as comparative assessments of individuals with brain damage or disease. However, one area of study with high potential, and indeed a long history of often nonscientific use in the area of aesthetics and art, employing psychopharmacological chemicals as means of changing brain function, has not been systematically utilized. This chapter reviews the literature on this topic, analyzing neuroendocrinological (neurochemical) approaches and mechanisms that might be used to causatively study the aesthetic brain. We focus on four relevant neuromodulatory systems potentially related to aesthetic experience: the dopaminergic, serotonergic, cannabinoid, and the opioidergic system. We build a bridge to psychopharmacological methods and review drug-induced behavioral and neurobiological consequences. We conclude with a discussion of hypotheses and suggestions for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Arts and The Brain
Subtitle of host publicationPsychology and Physiology Beyond Pleasure
PublisherElsevier B.V.
Pages343-372
Number of pages30
ISBN (Print)9780128139813
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jan 1

Publication series

NameProgress in Brain Research
Volume237
ISSN (Print)0079-6123
ISSN (Electronic)1875-7855

Keywords

  • Aesthetics
  • Art perception
  • Causative study
  • Context and priming
  • Neuropsychopharmacology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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    Spee, B., Ishizu, T., Leder, H., Mikuni, J., Kawabata, H., & Pelowski, M. (2018). Neuropsychopharmacological aesthetics: A theoretical consideration of pharmacological approaches to causative brain study in aesthetics and art. In The Arts and The Brain: Psychology and Physiology Beyond Pleasure (pp. 343-372). (Progress in Brain Research; Vol. 237). Elsevier B.V.. https://doi.org/10.1016/bs.pbr.2018.03.021