The Routledge International Handbook of Neuroaesthetics is an authoritative reference work that provides the reader with a wide-ranging introduction to this exciting new scientific discipline. The book brings together leading international academics to offer a well-balanced overview of this burgeoning field while addressing two questions central to the field: how the brain computes aesthetic appreciation for sensory objects and how art is created and experienced.

The editors, Martin Skov and Marcos Nadal, have compiled a neuroscientific, physiological, and psychological overview of the systems underlying the evaluation of sensory objects and aesthetic appreciation. Covering a variety of art forms mediated by vision, audition, movement, and language, the handbook puts forward a critical review of the current research to explain how and why perceptual and emotional processes are essential for art production. The work also unravels the interaction of art with expectations, experience and knowledge and the modulation of artistic appreciation through social and contextual settings, eventually bringing to light the potential of art to influence mental states, health, and well-being. The concepts are presented through research on the neural processes enabling artistic creativity, artistic expertise, and the evolution of symbolic cognition.

This handbook is a compelling read for anyone interested in making a first venture into this exciting new area of study and is best suited for students and researchers in the fields of neuroaesthetics, perceptual learning, and cognitive psychology.

chapter 1|28 pages

Neuroaesthetics as a scientific discipline

An intellectual history
ByMartin Skov

part I|263 pages

Aesthetic liking

chapter 2|32 pages

Sensory liking

How nervous systems assign hedonic value to sensory objects
ByMartin Skov

chapter 3|8 pages

The neurobiology of liking

ByEloise Stark, Kent C. Berridge, Morten L. Kringelbach

chapter 4|18 pages


From adaptive disgust to ugliness
ByChristoph Klebl, Michael Donner, Indra Bishnoi

chapter 5|14 pages

The influence of interoceptive signals on the processing of external sensory stimuli

ByAlejandro Galvez-Pol, Enric Munar, James M. Kilner

chapter 6|31 pages

Neural correlates of visual aesthetic appeal

ByEdward A. Vessel, Tomohiro Ishizu, Giacomo Bignardi

chapter 7|14 pages

Auditory pleasure elicited by music

ByErnest Mas-Herrero

chapter 8|24 pages

Odour aesthetics

Hedonic perception of olfactory stimuli
ByGulce Nazli Dikecligil, Jay A. Gottfried

chapter 9|22 pages

Movement appreciation

ByKohinoor M. Darda, Ionela Bara, Emily S. Cross

chapter 10|24 pages

How architectural design influences emotions, physiology, and behavior

ByAlex Coburn, Adam Weinberger, Anjan Chatterjee

chapter 11|22 pages

Sexual selection, aesthetic appreciation and mate choice

ByMichael J. Ryan

chapter 12|14 pages

Aesthetic sensitivity

Origin and development
ByAna Clemente

chapter 13|38 pages

The evolution of sensory valuation systems

ByEsther Ureña, Marcos Nadal

part II|278 pages


chapter 14|20 pages

Perception and cognition in visual art experience

ByRebecca Chamberlain

chapter 15|22 pages

The music system

ByAmy M. Belfi, Psyche Loui

chapter 16|9 pages

Watching and engaging in dance

ByBeatriz Calvo-Merino

chapter 17|20 pages

Making sense of space

The neuroaesthetics of architecture
ByZakaria Djebbara, Lars Brorson Fich, Giovanni Vecchiato

chapter 18|13 pages

Literature and poetry

ByArthur M. Jacobs

chapter 19|18 pages


ByFranziska Hartung

chapter 20|13 pages

Music-evoked emotions

Their contribution to aesthetic experiences, health, and well-being
ByLiila Taruffi, Stefan Koelsch

chapter 21|13 pages

The health benefits of art experience

ByClaire Howlin

chapter 22|15 pages

Experiencing art in museums

ByAniko Illes, Pablo P. L. Tinio

chapter 23|10 pages

Context and complexity of aesthetic experiences

A neuroscientific view
ByJulia Crone, Helmut Leder

chapter 24|13 pages

Experiencing art in social settings

ByHaeeun Lee, Guido Orgs

chapter 25|14 pages

Top-down processes in art experience

ByAenne A. Brielmann

chapter 26|32 pages

Preferences need inferences

Learning, valuation, and curiosity in aesthetic experience
BySander Van de Cruys, Jo Bervoets, Agnes Moors

chapter 27|19 pages

Neuroscience of artistic creativity

ByOshin Vartanian

chapter 28|13 pages

Expertise and the brain of the performing artist

ByFredrik Ullén

chapter 29|16 pages

The emergence of symbolic cognition

ByFrancesco d’Errico, Ivan Colagè

chapter 30|16 pages

Neuropsychology of art and aesthetics

ByAlejandro Dorado, Marcos Nadal