ABSTRACT

Conceptual art presents an important challenge for neuroaesthetics. Such art helps to stimulate complex psychological events—beyond the perceptual responses usually studied by neuroscience. If science is to engage meaningfully with art, scientists need to address the conceptual content of our experience of many different kinds of art. As a test case, this essay suggests that neuroaesthetics should come to terms with works such as Marcel Duchamp's Bôite-en-valise (1935–1941), which is representative of many artworks and art exhibitions organized into composite parts or groups of works. The essay shows that, typically, art stimulates a network of conceptual relations rather than merely perceptions of the visible aspects of single artworks.

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