It has been said that the taste is inexplicable. But what if taste could actually be explained, and what if that explanation was done by a neural network in your brain?
In a new paper published in Nature Communicationsa team of researchers at the Caltech show how they used a combination of machine learning and brain-scanning equipment to uncover the neural underpinnings of human aesthetic preferences.
The work was done in the lab of John O’Doherty, the Fletcher Jones professor of decision-making neuroscience at the California Institute of Technology, and builds on research published by that lab in 2021. Data about pictures that volunteers like and dislike. With enough training, computers can now correctly guess whether a person prefers Monet or Rothko, for example.
The act of liking or disliking a work of art seems innate and happens so instantly and seamlessly in our brains that it takes time to think about why or how it happens. Very few people would. Hundreds of years.
“When you see a picture, you immediately decide if you like it or not, but when you think about it, this is very complicated because it’s very complicated to type,” says former Caltech student now Columbia. Lead author Kiyohito Iigaya, who is enrolled in a university, said: “This is actually a very open question, and how the brain does it is not well understood, so I wonder if we can use computational modeling techniques to understand it.” I was there.”
In this method, volunteers rated paintings (1,000 paintings) over four days while their brains were scanned with a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) machine. These brain scans and volunteer evaluations of the paintings are based on contrast, hue, dynamics, and concreteness (whether the painting is abstract or realistic).
The data the team collected showed that regions within the visual cortex, the part of the brain that processes visual input, are responsible for analyzing these properties. A region in the front of the brain known as the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) is responsible for assigning subjective values to them.
Basically, the brain breaks down a work of art into essential qualities and decides whether those qualities are pleasing or not. According to another study conducted by the O’Doherty Institute, this is pretty much how the brain decides whether you like a food or not. That study found that the brain analyzes foods according to their protein, fat, carbohydrate and vitamin content to determine if their quality is satisfactory.
“What they discovered is that the brain integrates these different nutritional characteristics to create an overall preference for a food,” says Iigaya. is the inspiration for.”
In their paper, the researchers said this “value construction” system may be pervasive throughout the brain, suggesting that it may account for many kinds of preferences. I’m here.
“I find it amazing that this very simple computational model can explain such a large difference in our tastes,” says Iigaya.
A paper describing their research, “Neural Mechanisms Underlying the Hierarchy of Perceived Aesthetic Values,” appeared in the Jan. 24 issue. Nature Communications.
For more information:
Kiyohito Iigaya, et al., Neural Mechanisms Underlying the Hierarchical Structure of Perceived Aesthetic Values, Nature Communications (2023). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-022-35654-y
Courtesy of California Institute of Technology
Quote: How the Brain Creates Art Tastes (27 Feb 2023) Retrieved 27 Feb 2023 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2023-02-brain-art.html
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