Re: [evol-psych] News: Neuroaesthetics is killing your soul (revisited)
Art and the Limits of Neuroscience (12/4/11) "What stands in the way of success in this new field is, first, the fact that neuroscience has yet to frame anything like an adequate biological or “naturalistic” account of human experience — of thought, perception, or consciousness."In my model I have framed thought, perception, unconscious affect, and consciousness in a naturalistic experience-dependent context of sensory input and its epigenetic effects on pleiotropy and epistasis. For contrast, there is random mutations theory, which I think leads to critical judgements by others who are not familiar with biological facts.
From the article linked below:
Can brain scans ever tell us why we like art? by Philip Ball 22 March 2013
Excerpt: “… to suggest that the human brain responds in a particular way to art risks creating criteria of right or wrong, either in the art itself or in individual reactions to it. Although it is a risk that most researchers are likely to recognize, experience suggests that scientists studying art find it hard to resist drawing up rules for critical judgements.”
“My feeling is that the social brain has many levels. If you don’t understand the foundational level, then you can do brain imaging until you’re blue in the face, but you still will not understand the process at a deep causal level.”
My comment: (note: I am banned from commenting to the Nature site due to past ‘inappropriate’ comments -- like this one)
Clearly, Panksepp’s perspective on the social brain holds true in the context of adaptively evolved neuroaesthetics. Cause and effect is established at the molecular level of adaptive evolution of the brain and behavior. For example, in my model, food odors and pheromones epigenetically cause changes in levels of hormones that affect behavior via alterations in synaptogenesis, synaptolysis, and apoptosis. The neuroaesthetic appeal of food, conspecifics, or anything else typically attributed primarily to visual input or to auditory input is due to experience-dependent associations with epigenetic effects of sensory input on gene activation in hormone-secreting nerve cells of brain tissue.
Thus, our artistic understanding and experience cannot be wholly defined or explained via brain imagery or anything else that does not encompass the entirety of our sensory experience, which begins with chemical exchange via the placenta while we are still in the womb. Brain scans tell us nothing specific about individual neuroaesthetics; they tell us nothing about how our soul differs from any other.
In the context of sexual preferences this becomes clearer. On page 210 of his book, LeVay discusses my model for the development of heterosexual and homosexual preferences: “This model is attractive in that it solves the “binding problem” of sexual attraction. By that I mean the problem of why all the different features of men or women (visual appearance and feel of face, body, and genitals; voice quality, smell; personality and behavior, etc.) attract people as a more or less coherent package representing one sex, rather than as an arbitrary collage of male and female characteristics. If all these characteristics come to be attractive because they were experienced in association with a male- or female-specific pheromone, then they will naturally go together even in the absence of complex genetically coded instructions.”
Are the neuroaesthetics of homosexual preferences due to mutations? Is there a model for that?
James V. Kohl
Medical laboratory scientist (ASCP)
Kohl, J.V. (2012) Human pheromones and food odors: epigenetic influences on the socioaffective nature of evolved behaviors. Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology, 2: 17338.