Santa Lucia - Neurosciences and Rehabilitation Sapienza University of Rome

The Oxford Handbook of Empirical Aesthetics. 2020 Aug. doi: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780198824350.013.27

The Aesthetics of Action and Movement

The embodied simulation account proposed a pivotal role for the body of an observer in the aesthetic perception of artworks. Beginning with this consideration, this chapter briefly outlines evidence from experimental psychology and cognitive neuroscience that supports this proposed relationship between the human body and motor knowledge and aesthetic appraisal of action. The chapter focuses on the cognitive processes involved in perceiving a moving body and aesthetic estimation. It also discusses the impact of visuomotor expertise in shaping different levels of action representation and relative hedonistic judgment. While this research field remains somewhat in its naissance, alternative accounts have also been proposed to account for the link between embodiment, expertise, and movement aesthetics, which are also considered here. The chapter concludes with some theoretical and methodological considerations, questions, and perspectives that warrant further attention in future studies to expand existing knowledge on the empirical aesthetics of the human body in action.

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