Dynamics of brain networks in the aesthetic appreciation
Neuroimage experiments have been essential for identifying active brain networks. During cognitive tasks as in, e.g., aesthetic appreciation, suchnetworks include regions that belong to the default mode network (DMN). Theoretically, DMN activity should be interrupted during cognitive tasks demanding attention, as is the case for aesthetic appreciation. Analyzing the functional connectivity dynamics along three temporal windows and two conditions, beautiful and not beautiful stimuli, here we report experimental support for the hypothesis that aesthetic appreciation relies on the activation of two different networks, an initial aesthetic network and a delayed aesthetic network, engaged within distinct time frames. Activation of the DMN might correspond mainly to the delayed aesthetic network. We discuss adaptive and evolutionary explanations for the relationships existing between the DMN and aesthetic networks and offer unique inputs to debates on the mind/brain interaction.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 June 18; 110(Suppl 2): 10454–10461.Published online 2013 June 10. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1302855110