March 2023, Monday 20th, 3:00pm to 5:00pm
Venue: exceptionally only on BBB
Abstract: The brain has a network of neural areas dedicated to aesthetic experiences regardless of sensory modalities. Theoretical modeling of this network has revealed complex emergent properties such as phase transitions and symmetric breaking. These properties lead to the emergence of individuality in aesthetic preferences even if different brains have the same surroundings and initial conditions. We have tested these predictions on individuality with behavioral experiments and measurements from art. Our experimental results suggest that individuality and instability of aesthetic preferences are inescapable consequences of how our brains work. We will discuss some implications of these results for both the evolution and the philosophy of aesthetic values.