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Thread: Psychology of Art

  1. #1
    chaotic neutral shitpost
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    Dec 2013

    Psychology of Art

    once in a while i come across an insightful article on or related to this topic, so this is a thread to share and discuss (if this is interesting to anyone else).

    What Your Stuff Reveals About You
    We consume books, movies, music, and visual art primarily to fulfill the internal emotional needs that are fundamental to our personalities. But we also make choices about art based on a desire to carve out identities for ourselves—to articulate the stories of our lives. By the same token, we look for those stories in others. We also feel intuitively that we can judge others by their tastes. Unfortunately, those judgments are often wrong—largely because we pay attention to the wrong things. It pays to learn how to spot the real clues.

    Empathic People Use Social Brain Circuitry to Process Music
    Those who deeply grasp the pain or joy of other people and display “higher empathic concern” process music differently in their brains, according to a new study by researchers at Southern Methodist University and UCLA. Their paper, “Neurophysiological Effects of Trait Empathy in Music Listening,” was recently published in the journal Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience.

    As you can see by looking at the images at the top of the page and to the left, the SMU-UCLA researchers used fMRI neuroimaging to pinpoint specific brain areas that light up when people with varying degrees of trait empathy listen to music. Notably, the researchers found that higher empathy people process music as if it’s a pleasurable proxy for real-world human encounters and show greater involvement of brain regions associated with reward systems and social cognitive circuitry.
    it's weird but fascinating.

  2. #2
    Regular Joe stigmatica's Avatar
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    Dec 2013
    "This may indicate that music is being perceived weakly as a kind of social entity, as an imagined or virtual human presence,"
    Just try watching a movie sans the music accompaniment and it becomes clear (too me anyway) that it plays an even larger role than the actors much of the time.
    Quote Originally Posted by mara View Post
    my crime is that i disrupted the echo chamber

  3. #3
    Dr.Awkward Robcore's Avatar
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    Dec 2013
    Although many people view music simply as a form of artistic expression or entertainment, Wallmark et al. posit that music is a universal language that may have evolved to help humans interact, communicate, and understand one another.

    "If music was not related to how we process the social world, then we likely would have seen no significant difference in the brain activation between high-empathy and low-empathy people," Wallmark said. "This tells us that over and above appreciating music as high art, music is about humans interacting with other humans and trying to understand and communicate with each other.”

    "But in our culture we have a whole elaborate system of music education and music thinking that treats music as a sort of disembodied object of aesthetic contemplation," Wallmark said. "In contrast, the results of our study help explain how music connects us to others. This could have implications for how we understand the function of music in our world, and possibly in our evolutionary past."
    I think this relates to a discussion elsewhere...probably @Sappho's blog? where we were discussing the merits of classical vs. contemporary music. Classical music seems to be concerned with the universal language of music, and with expressing something universal...the 'disembodied object of aesthetic contemplation', as it were.
    Contemporary music, in contrast, seems more concerned with individual-to-individual interactions, and communicating personal things with one another.

    I definitely see myself as the less-empathetic listener, considering a song as a piece of art...while I think my wife is definitely high on the empathic-listener spectrum, experiencing songs more for their message and feeling.
    ...the origin of emotional sickness lay in people’s belief that they were their personalities...
    "The pendulum of the mind alternates between sense and nonsense, not between right and wrong." ~Carl Jung

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