In this book, well-known scholars describe new and exciting approaches to aesthetics, creativity and psychology of the arts, approaching these topics from a point of view that is biological or related to biology and answering new questions with new methods and theories. All known societies produce and enjoy arts such as literature, music and visual decoration or depiction. Judging from prehistoric archaeological evidence, this arose very early in human development. Furthermore, Darwin was explicit in attributing aesthetic sensitivity to lower animals. These considerations lead us to wonder whether the arts might not be evolutionarily based. Although such an evolutionary basis is not obvious on the face of it, the idea has recently elicited considerable attention. The book begins with a consideration of ten theories on the evolutionary function of specific arts such as music and literature. The theory of evolution was first drawn up in biology, but evolution is not confined to biology: genuinely evolutionary theories of sociocultural change can be formulated. That they need to be formulated is shown in several chapters that discuss regular trends in literature and scientific writings. Psychologists have recently rediscovered the obvious fact that thought and perception occur in the brain, so cognitive science moves ever closer to neuroscience. Several chapters give overviews of neurocognitive and neural network approaches to creativity and aesthetic appreciation. The book concludes with two exciting describing brain-scan research on what happens in the brain during creativity and presenting a close examination of the relationship between genetically transmitted mental disorder and creativity.

chapter Chapter 1|14 pages

What Art Is and What Art Does: An Overview of Contemporary Evolutionary Hypotheses

ByEllen Dissanayake

chapter Chapter 2|16 pages

An Evolutionary Model of Artistic and Musical Creativity

ByGregory J. Feist

chapter Chapter 3|15 pages

The Adaptive Function of Literature

ByJoseph Carroll

chapter Chapter 4|17 pages

Does Reading Literature Make People Happy?

ByWillie van Peer, Alexandra Mentjes, Jan Auracher

chapter Chapter 5|23 pages

Cognitive Poetics and Poetry Recital

ByReuven Tsur

chapter Chapter 6|11 pages

The Alphabet and Creativity: Implications for East Asia

ByWm. C. Hannas

chapter Chapter 7|15 pages

Creativity, Gender, History, and Authors of Fantasy for Children

ByRavenna Helson

chapter Chapter 8|12 pages

Trends in the Creative Content of Scientific Journals: Good, But Not as Good!

ByRobert Hogenraad

chapter Chapter 9|20 pages

The Information Approach to Human Sciences, Especially Aesthetics

ByVladimir M. Petrov

chapter Chapter 10|15 pages

Art and Cognition: Cognitive Processes in Art Appreciation

ByHelmut Leder, Benno Belke

chapter Chapter 11|16 pages

Literary Creativity: A Neuropsychoanalytic View

ByNorman N. Holland

chapter Chapter 12|14 pages

A Neural-Network Theory of Beauty

ByColin Martindale

chapter Chapter 13|13 pages

Neural Correlates of Creative Cognition

ByOshin Vartanian, Vinod Goel

chapter Chapter 14|16 pages

Creativity, DNA, and Cerebral Blood Flow

ByChávez-Eakle Rosa Aurora

chapter Chapter 15|13 pages

Artistic Creativity and Affective Disorders: Are They Connected?

ByDennis K. Kinney, Ruth L. Richards