Study: Art Transcends Sight, Unleashes Multisensory Embodied Experience | Pro IQRA News

Study: Art Transcends Sight, Unleashes Multisensory Embodied Experience

 | Pro IQRA News

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LONDON: A recent study published in peer-reviewed scientific journal Cognition and emotions shed light on the complex interaction between art, emotions and bodily sensations.

According to Scientific Americanresearchers have revealed that how our bodies respond to art is not just a passive response, but an active way of perceiving “art” in the first place.

The media reports said that a team of scientists has discovered that the secret behind the various reactions may “already lie” in our bodies.

According to the reports, the study, which involved 1,186 participants and 336 different works of art, aimed to explore the relationship between emotional engagement with art and the physical sensations experienced when viewing it.

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In a striking revelation, the study was able to establish a direct correlation between the intensity of emotional reactions triggered by a work of art and the extent of bodily sensations reported during its observation. Through subjective reports, participants relayed their feelings, while marking on a virtual human figure where and how they felt the associated physical sensations. In addition, eye-tracking techniques and participant surveys were used to measure the appeal of the paintings and their categorization as art, reported by the media.

It was revealed that the strength of bodily sensations resonated with both the strength of emotional engagement and the assessment of a work as art. Sensations were most distinct when participants experienced empathy, the most commonly reported positive emotion, and when they described their feelings as “touching” and “moving.”

Furthermore, the negative emotions also yielded insights, where reports of “sadness” were intertwined with “touching” and “touching” experiences, which in turn influenced a participant’s labeling of a work as art.

At the same time, Lauri Nummenmaa, lead author of the study and researcher at University of Turku in Finland drew parallels between the feeling of excitement in a haunted house and the impact of art on our emotions.

“Art probably uses similar mechanisms to make us feel good. It activates our autonomic nervous system, and in the peace and quiet of an art gallery, this increased bodily activity feels good to us,” says Nummenmaa.

The study also showed that the fusion of emotional and bodily responses was most profound when artworks depicted people, in line with the theory that observing the actions of others can trigger sensorimotor mirror effects.

While the research relied on subjective accounts and did not delve into objective physiological changes, it strongly suggested that the perception of art was deeply intertwined with the awareness of our body’s internal state. Basically, art can have the power to deeply affect our perception and embed itself under the skin.

At the same time, neuroscientist Jennifer MacCormack, who leads the Affect & Interoception Lab at University of Virginiaelaborated on the study’s implications, saying that certain forms of art can subtly shift our attention to bodily sensations, particularly within specific regions such as the chest or heart.

MacCormack said this can affect the extent to which we incorporate our bodies into the emotional experience.