The “art infusion effect” suggests that people evaluate products more positively when they are associated with art images than non-art images. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging during viewing of art and non-art images matched for content, the authors investigated whether artistic status alone could activate the reward circuit. Relative to non-art images, art images indeed activated reward-related regions including the ventral striatum. This activity was uncorrelated with response times, ratings of familiarity, or aesthetic preference for art images, suggesting that these variables were unrelated to the art-selective activations. Effective connectivity analyses showed that the ventral striatum was driven by visual cortical regions when viewing art images but not non-art images and was not driven by regions that correlated with aesthetic preference for either art or non-art images. These findings suggest that visual art involves activation of reward circuitry based on artistic status alone and independently of its aesthetic value.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||Brain, Beauty, and Art|
|Subtitle of host publication||Essays Bringing Neuroaesthetics into Focus|
|Publisher||Oxford University Press|
|Number of pages||5|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2021|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes