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Florida International University

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Neuroscience And Hindu Aesthetics: A Critical Analysis Of V.S. Ramachandran’S “Science Of Art”, Logan R. Beitmen Jan 2014

Neuroscience And Hindu Aesthetics: A Critical Analysis Of V.S. Ramachandran’S “Science Of Art”, Logan R. Beitmen

FIU Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Neuroaesthetics is the study of the brain’s response to artistic stimuli. The neuroscientist V.S. Ramachandran contends that art is primarily “caricature” or “exaggeration.” Exaggerated forms hyperactivate neurons in viewers’ brains, which in turn produce specific, “universal” responses. Ramachandran identifies a precursor for his theory in the concept of rasa (literally “juice”) from classical Hindu aesthetics, which he associates with “exaggeration.” The canonical Sanskrit texts of Bharata Muni’s Natya Shastra and Abhinavagupta’s Abhinavabharati, however, do not support Ramachandran’s conclusions. They present audiences as dynamic co-creators, not passive recipients. I believe we could more accurately model the ...