To date, individual differences in the neuroaesthetics of mundane art are seldom studied. This study addresses group differences with regard to the neural mechanisms of aesthetic emotions and aesthetic judgments toward everyday designed products according to levels of everyday aesthetic experience and expertise in design. A fMRI experiment that included 26 college students was employed. The findings of this study suggest that rich everyday aesthetic experience elicits more brain activations in aesthetic judgments, and expertise in design elicits more brain activations in aesthetic emotions. Comparatively, rich everyday experience and expertise modulate the integration of external sensation and internal states, top-down attention, reward processing, and emotion regulation when viewing beautiful stimuli, whereas poor everyday experience and expertise modulate conscious assessment of self-relevant meaning as well as retrieval of negative memory and emotions when viewing ugly stimuli. These findings provide insights for enhancing aesthetic ability through daily life experience and instruction.
Trends in Neuroscience and Education, Volume 10, Pages 8-18