A Neuroelectrical Brain Imaging Study on the Perception of Figurative Paintings against Only their Color or Shape Contents.
ABSTRACT: In this study, the cortical activity correlated with the perception and appreciation of different set of pictures was estimated by using neuroelectric brain activity and graph theory methodologies in a group of artistic educated persons. The pictures shown to the subjects consisted of original pictures of Titian's and a contemporary artist's paintings (Orig dataset) plus two sets of additional pictures. These additional datasets were obtained from the previous paintings by removing all but the colors or the shapes employed (Color and Style dataset, respectively). Results suggest that the verbal appreciation of Orig dataset when compared to Color and Style ones was mainly correlated to the neuroelectric indexes estimated during the first 10 s of observation of the pictures. Always in the first 10 s of observation: (1) Orig dataset induced more emotion and is perceived with more appreciation than the other two Color and Style datasets; (2) Style dataset is perceived with more attentional effort than the other investigated datasets. During the whole period of observation of 30 s: (1) emotion induced by Color and Style datasets increased across the time while that induced of the Orig dataset remain stable; (2) Color and Style dataset were perceived with more attentional effort than the Orig dataset. During the entire experience, there is evidence of a cortical flow of activity from the parietal and central areas toward the prefrontal and frontal areas during the observation of the images of all the datasets. This is coherent from the notion that active perception of the images with sustained cognitive attention in parietal and central areas caused the generation of the judgment about their aesthetic appreciation in frontal areas.