Have you ever had the experience of being so absorbed by a painting or a piece of music,” writes Anjan Chatterjee in his 2013 book The Aesthetic Brain, “that you lose all sense of space and time? These magical moments … are ironically deeply subjective. The problem, of course, is that science demands some objectivity.”
Such is the tension that runs through the burgeoning field of neuroaesthetics, of which Chatterjee is a champion. As a neuroscientist grounded in evolutionary psychology, but also as a philosopher and an amateur photographer, he is able to weave together the threads of both aesthetics and neuroscience, while understanding the limits of each.