What's New With Art?



How do we appreciate a work of art? Why do we like some artworks but not others? Experiencing Art: In the Brain of the Beholder explores our sensations, thoughts, and feelings as we look at art. It considers the psychological and biological underpinnings of aesthetic experiences. In many ways our approach to art depends largely on what we know--from everyday knowledge about the world, from personal experiences, and from our cultural background. Yet we don't always appreciate these influences. Filled with artworks from many traditions and time points, the book offers insightful ways of broadening one's approach and appreciation of art.

See Preface and Table of Contents

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Filmmakers have developed remarkable techniques that drive our senses, thoughts, and emotions. How do movies capture our attention and keep us riveted to the screen? How do they make us laugh, cry, and instill such surprise and fright? Few have approached our movie experience from a scientific perspective—or what I have coined psychocinematics. This volume brings together philosophers, film theorists, psychologists, and brain scientists to explore the viability of a scientific analysis of movies. Preview/buy the book from Amazon.com

Check out Art's Psychocinematics blog

List of Psychocinematic Articles






Art Shimamura is a Professor of Psychology and faculty member of the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute at the University of California, Berkeley. He has explored the neural basis of human learning and memory through brain imaging, brain disorders, and behavioral changes associated with normal aging. He has been a science advisor for the San Francisco Exploratorium, received the Distinguished Teaching Award by the Division of Social Science, UC Berkeley, and was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2008. His interest in photography has led him to explore the psychology of art and aesthetics. He has recently advocated psychocinematics--the scientific analysis of our movie experience.