Selected Papers from the 2023 Neuroaesthetics Conference: Universality of Aesthetic Experience in Individual Contexts

A special issue of Behavioral Sciences (ISSN 2076-328X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2023) | Viewed by 9087

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Neuroaesthetics Lab., University of Suceava, 720229 Suceava, Romania
Interests: neural entrainment; conceptual metaphors; symmetry; origins of rhythmic capacity; empathy; closeness; empathic AIs; AI awareness

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Guest Editor
1. Institute of Medical Psychology, Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich, Munich, Germany
2. Institut Mensch & Ästhetik, Coburg University of Applied Sciences, 96450 Coburg, Germany
Interests: consciousness & time; time perception; time & imagery; neuroaesthetics; neurobiological bases of self; neural correlates of music perception and composition

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue features a selection of papers presented at the 2023 Neuroaesthetics Conference, Universality of Aesthetic Experience in Individual Contexts, organised jointly by the University of Suceava, NTNU (Norwegian University of Science and Technology), and the University of Bergen, and hosted by the University of Suceava’s Neuroaesthetics Lab with funding from the Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2014–2021—Norway Grants, the PoeticA project (RO-NO-2019-0091). While solidly grounded in quantitative, data-based research, our approach to neuroaesthetics emphasises the importance of opening the field to researchers from humanities backgrounds and artists whose work provides empirical frameworks for introspective qualitative interpretations. In keeping with the desiderate of exploring aesthetics both ‘from below’ (i.e., using quantitative methods) and ‘from above’ (i.e., using qualitative methods), advocated by the German experimental psychologist and philosopher, Theodor Fechner, we invite you to explore our article selection that, we hope, provides both scientific exploration of measurable dimensions of aesthetic experience and introspective depth.

Dr. Tudor Balinisteanu
Dr. Morteza Izadifar
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • neuroaesthetics
  • neuroarts
  • empirical aesthetics
  • psychology
  • neuroscience
  • social sciences
  • empiricism and philosophy of science

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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22 pages, 1946 KiB  
Article
Pilot Studies on Empathy and Closeness in Mutual Entrainment/Improvisation vs. Formalised Dance with Different Types of Rhythm (Regular, Irregular, and No Rhythm) and Coupling (Visual, Haptic, Full Coupling): Building a Case for the Origin of Dance in Mutual Entrainment Empathic Interactions in the Mother–Infant Dyad
by Tudor Balinisteanu
Behav. Sci. 2023, 13(10), 859; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs13100859 - 20 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1418
Abstract
This paper employs a novel research design to examine changes in empathy and closeness in partnered face-to-face dance, considering both different types of rhythm (regular, irregular, and no external rhythm, or ‘mutual entrainment only’) and different types of coupling (visual only, haptic only, [...] Read more.
This paper employs a novel research design to examine changes in empathy and closeness in partnered face-to-face dance, considering both different types of rhythm (regular, irregular, and no external rhythm, or ‘mutual entrainment only’) and different types of coupling (visual only, haptic only, and full visual and haptic coupling). Two studies were undertaken to pilot the design. In both studies, the Interpersonal Reactivity Index and Inclusion of Other in the Self were used to measure empathy and closeness, respectively. Study 1 employed 24 participants (12 pairs) distributed across two rhythm conditions, external regular rhythm, and no external rhythm, with full coupling in both conditions. Closeness increased similarly in both conditions. Empathic concern (EC) was significantly affected in the ‘no rhythm’ condition. Study 2 employed 54 participants assigned to form pairs and distributed across all combinations of rhythm and coupling types. Closeness decreased with irregular rhythm. EC increased in the ‘no rhythm’ conditions relative to regular rhythm. Fantasy (F) decreased with haptic coupling only (no visual coupling) while personal distress (PD) increased. In addition, the analyses suggest that perspective taking (PT) increases with irregular rhythm and in the condition without rhythm (mutual entrainment only). The discussion gauges the value of the designs and results for capturing changes in empathy and closeness with different rhythm and coupling types. Capturing such changes is important for research on the origins of dance in empathic mutual entrainment in the mother–infant dyad. Full article
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17 pages, 1861 KiB  
Article
Electroencephalogram-Based Subject Matching Learning (ESML): A Deep Learning Framework on Electroencephalogram-Based Biometrics and Task Identification
by Jin Xu, Erqiang Zhou, Zhen Qin, Ting Bi and Zhiguang Qin
Behav. Sci. 2023, 13(9), 765; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs13090765 - 14 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1093
Abstract
An EEG signal (Electroencephalogram) is a bioelectric phenomenon reflecting human brain activities. In this paper, we propose a novel deep learning framework ESML (EEG-based Subject Matching Learning) using raw EEG signals to learn latent representations for EEG-based user identification and tack classification. ESML [...] Read more.
An EEG signal (Electroencephalogram) is a bioelectric phenomenon reflecting human brain activities. In this paper, we propose a novel deep learning framework ESML (EEG-based Subject Matching Learning) using raw EEG signals to learn latent representations for EEG-based user identification and tack classification. ESML consists of two parts: one is the ESML1 model via an LSTM-based method for EEG-user linking, and one is the ESML2 model via a CNN-based method for EEG-task linking. The new model ESML is simple, but effective and efficient. It does not require any restrictions for EEG data collection on motions and thinking for users, and it does not need any EEG preprocessing operations, such as EEG denoising and feature extraction. The experiments were conducted on three public datasets and the results show that ESML performs the best and achieves significant performance improvement when compared to baseline methods (i.e., SVM, LDA, NN, DTS, Bayesian, AdaBoost and MLP). The ESML1 model provided the best precision at 96% with 109 users and the ESML2 model achieved 99% precision at 3-Class task classification. These experimental results provide direct evidence that EEG signals can be used for user identification and task classification. Full article
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20 pages, 1560 KiB  
Article
A Network Analysis Approach toward Adaptive Overt Narcissism Network
by Remus Runcan, Dana Rad, Patricia Runcan and Cristian Măduța
Behav. Sci. 2023, 13(6), 468; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs13060468 - 5 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1739
Abstract
The relationship between narcissistic personality and art and beauty appreciation has recently become the focus of research investigations. Adaptive narcissists raise their sense of worth in order to shield themselves from harm caused by others. Because they aspire to be more attractive, healthier, [...] Read more.
The relationship between narcissistic personality and art and beauty appreciation has recently become the focus of research investigations. Adaptive narcissists raise their sense of worth in order to shield themselves from harm caused by others. Because they aspire to be more attractive, healthier, and successful versions of themselves, they frequently have greater success in life than the majority of people. Grandiose and overtly narcissistic behavior are the main recognized characteristics of an overt narcissist, which is currently regarded as a personality disorder that puts mental health and wellbeing at peril. On a random sample collection of data from 1101 respondents to an online questionnaire, we conducted a network analysis of the Adaptive Overt Narcissism Scale (AONS) items. In this study, we used a network analysis approach to examine the network structure of adaptive overt narcissism, as well as its relationships with psychological functioning. The present study utilized network analysis to investigate the centrality measures of items in the Adaptive Overt Narcissism Scale (AONS) and their interrelationships. Results indicated that item Q6.8 (“I appreciate art and beauty”) had low betweenness, closeness, and strength centrality measures, indicating that it was less influential in the network. However, it also had negative expected influence, suggesting that its absence would have a destabilizing effect on the network. These results highlight the importance of the appreciation of art and beauty in deactivating the adaptive overt narcissist network. Further research is needed to explore the mechanisms underlying this relationship and its implications for narcissism prevention and intervention. Full article
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11 pages, 2235 KiB  
Perspective
About the Need for a More Adequate Way to Get an Understanding of the Experiencing of Aesthetic Items
by Claus-Christian Carbon
Behav. Sci. 2023, 13(11), 907; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs13110907 - 6 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1084
Abstract
We live in times when neuroscientific methods have become standard methods that many researchers can easily use. While this offers excellent opportunities to understand brain activities linked with aesthetic processing, we face the problem of using sophisticated techniques without a proper and valid [...] Read more.
We live in times when neuroscientific methods have become standard methods that many researchers can easily use. While this offers excellent opportunities to understand brain activities linked with aesthetic processing, we face the problem of using sophisticated techniques without a proper and valid theoretical foundation of aesthetics. A further problem arises from sophisticated methods often demanding strict constraints in presenting and experiencing aesthetic stimuli. However, when experiencing aesthetic items, contextual factors matter, e.g., social and situational affordances are essential in triggering a true and deep “Kunsterlebnis” (Experience of Art). Additionally, in Art, it is often not the artwork as an object that matters but the close relationship with and the processing of the artwork. However, art is only one facet of the whole aesthetic domain, beside, e.g., design, architecture, everyday aesthetics, dance, literature, music, and opera. In the present paper, I propose a dynamic and holistic aesthetic perspective that includes the respective context, situation, cognitive and affective traits and state of the beholder, ongoing processes of understanding, Zeitgeist, and other cultural factors, which can be applied to different aesthetic domains. When ignoring such temporal and dynamic factors, we will not understand the qualia of aesthetic processing. These considerations might help researchers in the field of aesthetics to better understand the experiencing of aesthetic items of all kinds—if we ignore these factors, we are missing the essence of experiencing aesthetic items, especially artworks. We aim to sensitize and inform readers about these ideas to inspire a deeper understanding of experiencing aesthetic items and the advancement of a theoretical framework addressing the experiencing of aesthetics from different domains. Full article
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9 pages, 1310 KiB  
Opinion
Looking for the Edge of the World: How 3D Immersive Audio Produces a Shift from an Internalised Inner Voice to Unsymbolised Affect-Driven Ways of Thinking and Heightened Sensory Awareness
by Sadia Sadia and Claus-Christian Carbon
Behav. Sci. 2023, 13(10), 858; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs13100858 - 19 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1906
Abstract
In this practice-based case study, we investigate the subjective aesthetic and affective responses to a shift from 2D stereo-based modelling to 3D object-based Dolby Atmos in an audio installation artwork. Dolby Atmos is an infinite object-based audio format released in 2012 but only [...] Read more.
In this practice-based case study, we investigate the subjective aesthetic and affective responses to a shift from 2D stereo-based modelling to 3D object-based Dolby Atmos in an audio installation artwork. Dolby Atmos is an infinite object-based audio format released in 2012 but only recently incorporated into more public-facing formats. Our analysis focuses on the artist Sadia Sadia’s 30-channel audio installation ‘Notes to an Unknown Lover’, based on her book of free verse poetry of the same title, which was rebuilt and reformatted in a Dolby Atmos specified studio. We examine what effect altered spatiality with an infinite number of ‘placements’ has on the psychoacoustic and neuroaesthetic response to the text. The effectiveness of three-dimensional (3D) object-based audio is interrogated against more traditional stereo and two-dimensional (2D) formats regarding the expression and communication of emotion and what effect altered spatiality with an infinite number of placements has on the psychoacoustic and neuroaesthetic response to the text. We provide a unique examination of the consequences of a shift from 2D to wholly encompassing object-based audio in a text-based artist’s audio installation work. These findings may also have promising applications for health and well-being issues. Full article
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