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Beauty and the beholder: the role of visual sensitivity in visual preference.

Spehar B, Wong S, van de Klundert S, Lui J, Clifford CW, Taylor RP - Front Hum Neurosci (2015)

Bottom Line: We measure sensitivity to simple visual patterns (sine-wave gratings varying in spatial frequency and random textures with varying scaling exponent) and find that they are highly correlated with visual preferences exhibited by the same observers.Although we do not attempt to offer a comprehensive neural model of aesthetic experience, we demonstrate a strong relationship between visual sensitivity and preference for simple visual patterns.Broadly speaking, our results support assertions that there is a close relationship between aesthetic experience and the sensory coding of natural stimuli.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Psychology, UNSW Australia Sydney, NSW, Australia.

ABSTRACT
For centuries, the essence of aesthetic experience has remained one of the most intriguing mysteries for philosophers, artists, art historians and scientists alike. Recently, views emphasizing the link between aesthetics, perception and brain function have become increasingly prevalent (Ramachandran and Hirstein, 1999; Zeki, 1999; Livingstone, 2002; Ishizu and Zeki, 2013). The link between art and the fractal-like structure of natural images has also been highlighted (Spehar et al., 2003; Graham and Field, 2007; Graham and Redies, 2010). Motivated by these claims and our previous findings that humans display a consistent preference across various images with fractal-like statistics, here we explore the possibility that observers' preference for visual patterns might be related to their sensitivity for such patterns. We measure sensitivity to simple visual patterns (sine-wave gratings varying in spatial frequency and random textures with varying scaling exponent) and find that they are highly correlated with visual preferences exhibited by the same observers. Although we do not attempt to offer a comprehensive neural model of aesthetic experience, we demonstrate a strong relationship between visual sensitivity and preference for simple visual patterns. Broadly speaking, our results support assertions that there is a close relationship between aesthetic experience and the sensory coding of natural stimuli.

No MeSH data available.


A subset of the experimental image used in Experiment 1b: From left to right the amplitude spectrum slope values are: 0.5, 0.75, 1.0, 1.25, 1.5, 1.75, 2.0 and 2.5.
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Figure 4: A subset of the experimental image used in Experiment 1b: From left to right the amplitude spectrum slope values are: 0.5, 0.75, 1.0, 1.25, 1.5, 1.75, 2.0 and 2.5.

Mentions: The grayscale images were constructed by the same procedure as outlined in Experiment 1a, with α values of 0.5, 0.75, 1.0, 1.25, 1.5, 1.75, 2.0, 2.25 and 2.5. For each amplitude spectrum slope value α, we generated three different versions or exemplars which were randomized across observers. One complete series of grayscale images is depicted in Figure 4.


Beauty and the beholder: the role of visual sensitivity in visual preference.

Spehar B, Wong S, van de Klundert S, Lui J, Clifford CW, Taylor RP - Front Hum Neurosci (2015)

A subset of the experimental image used in Experiment 1b: From left to right the amplitude spectrum slope values are: 0.5, 0.75, 1.0, 1.25, 1.5, 1.75, 2.0 and 2.5.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4585069&req=5

Figure 4: A subset of the experimental image used in Experiment 1b: From left to right the amplitude spectrum slope values are: 0.5, 0.75, 1.0, 1.25, 1.5, 1.75, 2.0 and 2.5.
Mentions: The grayscale images were constructed by the same procedure as outlined in Experiment 1a, with α values of 0.5, 0.75, 1.0, 1.25, 1.5, 1.75, 2.0, 2.25 and 2.5. For each amplitude spectrum slope value α, we generated three different versions or exemplars which were randomized across observers. One complete series of grayscale images is depicted in Figure 4.

Bottom Line: We measure sensitivity to simple visual patterns (sine-wave gratings varying in spatial frequency and random textures with varying scaling exponent) and find that they are highly correlated with visual preferences exhibited by the same observers.Although we do not attempt to offer a comprehensive neural model of aesthetic experience, we demonstrate a strong relationship between visual sensitivity and preference for simple visual patterns.Broadly speaking, our results support assertions that there is a close relationship between aesthetic experience and the sensory coding of natural stimuli.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Psychology, UNSW Australia Sydney, NSW, Australia.

ABSTRACT
For centuries, the essence of aesthetic experience has remained one of the most intriguing mysteries for philosophers, artists, art historians and scientists alike. Recently, views emphasizing the link between aesthetics, perception and brain function have become increasingly prevalent (Ramachandran and Hirstein, 1999; Zeki, 1999; Livingstone, 2002; Ishizu and Zeki, 2013). The link between art and the fractal-like structure of natural images has also been highlighted (Spehar et al., 2003; Graham and Field, 2007; Graham and Redies, 2010). Motivated by these claims and our previous findings that humans display a consistent preference across various images with fractal-like statistics, here we explore the possibility that observers' preference for visual patterns might be related to their sensitivity for such patterns. We measure sensitivity to simple visual patterns (sine-wave gratings varying in spatial frequency and random textures with varying scaling exponent) and find that they are highly correlated with visual preferences exhibited by the same observers. Although we do not attempt to offer a comprehensive neural model of aesthetic experience, we demonstrate a strong relationship between visual sensitivity and preference for simple visual patterns. Broadly speaking, our results support assertions that there is a close relationship between aesthetic experience and the sensory coding of natural stimuli.

No MeSH data available.