Why Beauty Is Both Personal and Universal

Why Beauty Is Both Personal and Universal

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As they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, however, the experience of being moved by art seems universal. A new neurological study offers some insight into this aesthetic paradox.

The results indicate that connecting deeply to a work of art activates the same part of everyone’s brain. However, part of the brain activated by such strong aesthetic appeal is associated with personal reflection, the researchers found. It appears that aesthetic experiences activate the brain in the same way for everyone, but the parts activated include those linked with the intensely subjective and personal nature of aesthetics, helping explain why these experiences are both universal and highly individualized, the team of researchers, from New York University, write in a study published online in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.

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