Predictive Error Reduction and the Twofold Nature of Aesthetic Pleasure

in Art & Perception
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Recently, the predictive coding account of perceptual inference has been extended to visual aesthetic experience, in particular to the experience enabled by artworks that challenge habitual predictions and ordinary perceptual routines. By virtue of its dynamical approaches, the predictive coding account of visual art catches aesthetic perception and evaluation as a complex dynamics of intertwined perpetual, affective and cognitive processes. On the basis of some of the most relevant findings of these dynamical approaches, I argue that aesthetic pleasure has a complex and original nature, something akin to a twofold nature. Specifically, I argue that aesthetic pleasure is twofold from different points of view: (a) it represents the connection of two very different functions, namely anticipation and reaction; (b) its different forms share a specific common core; however, this common core can be instantiated by very different functional relationships of causes and effects; (c) aesthetic pleasure represents a positive affective appraisal accompanying first-order elaboration, but it can also co-activate negative subjective experience, mixing together positive and negative affect.

Predictive Error Reduction and the Twofold Nature of Aesthetic Pleasure

in Art & Perception

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