Have you ever wondered too hard about the meaning behind a painting while staring at it? Have you imagined what a random sculpture or a depiction of modern day’s abstract art is all about? Well, if your answer is yes and you seem not to understand the hidden meanings behind artworks that artists try their best to make you understand, then you are certainly in for a big surprise. Here’s why: according to a recent study in Brain and Cognition, it is now a confirmed fact that human mind is hard-wired or say programmed to love and appreciate art in all forms. So if you happen not to understand what you see, perhaps you are just trying too hard.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the human mind has been designed for art appreciation and it is completely a natural and biological process. This certainly means that you don’t have any more excuses left for your incapability to understand or appreciate art as it is.
According to the research compiled by the researchers at University of Toronto and evidence from the quantitative meta-analysis of 15 neuroaesthetics studies conducted during 2004 to 2012 in 7 countries worldwide, when the human mind views paintings and other artworks, it activates regions in the brain which confirm that the human mind is programmed to engage with art and understand it. The results of the findings were published in a paper “Neural correlates of viewing paintings: Evidence from a quantitative meta-analysis of functional magnetic resonance imaging data.”
The research involved 330 participants ranging between the ages of 18 to 59. The participants were asked to view familiar and non-familiar artworks while inside MRI scanners. The participants were then asked to draw aesthetic judgments about the artworks they saw in some instances, while at others, they were just told to look upon the artworks.
Results of the study showed that viewing paintings actually triggered activity in the regions inside the human mind that are associated with vision, memory, pleasure, emotion and recognitions. These regions of the human mind are also actively used for conscious processing of information that is new so that it can be given meaning.
This study has certainly awaken that lost confidence in the general public who have been criticized by curators, art critics, artists and a lot of art related professionals, claiming that not everybody has the sight and knack to observe, understand and appreciate masterpieces of art.