Semir Zeki
Is beauty really Subjective and can it be quantified?

Freitag, 7. Februar 2020 um 19.00 Uhr
TU München, Vorhoelzer Forum
Veranstalter: Q+A Panels
Referent: Semir Zeki, University College London

Professor Semir Zeki is now Professor of Neuroesthetics at University College London, after having served for many years as Professor of Neurobiology there. He pioneered the study of the higher visual areas of the brain, and discovered, among other things, its colour, motion and form centres and hence the functional specialization within it. More recently, he has expanded his work to enquire into the neural correlates of aesthetic and artistic experience. In addition to his published scientific papers, he is author of many books. His artistic work was exhibited in museums. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society, London, a founder fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences London and a Foreign Member of the American Philosophical Society.


The experience of beauty, whether derived from perceptual sources, as in visual or musical beauty, or highly cognitive sources, as in mathematical beauty, correlates with activity in a specific part of the emotional brain, namely field A1 of the medial orbito-frontal cortex (mOFC). Moreover the intensity of activity there is parametrically related to the declared intensity of the experience, the more intense the experience of beauty, the higher the activity in mOFC. That the experience of beauty derived from such diverse sources correlates with activity in the same part of the brain raises interesting questions about the biological and intellectual uses of beauty.

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