Kelsey Lawrence via Hopes&Fears:
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The average person spends about 30 seconds looking at a work of art. We know in that span of time, the viewer will have some sort of emotional reaction, however subtle, whether it’s excitement, repulsion or simply boredom. We also know that drugs and art have a long, storied history together. But can looking at a work of art generate a high that comes naturally, no dealers speedialed?
Can it cause a chemical change in our body? Can it affect our perception of reality? Can it serve as a stimulant, a hallucinogenic, a depressant, or anything that mimics these effects? We spoke to a neuroesthetics expert, an art critic and a neuroscientist to find out.
Dr. Elena Agudio, Berlin-based art historian and curator, curator for Association of Neuroesthetics
In my opinion, absolutely yes. It’s a kind of excitement you can have; it’s not only cultural and psychological, it’s really due to certain mechanisms in the brain that are being activated.