About what beauty is, they began to think back in antiquity. Surprisingly, since then they have not managed to find the answer to this question, although they have singled out a whole field of knowledge specifically for searches – aesthetics. The foundations of the latter one way or another led to psychology and metaphysics, the conclusions of which, however, were impossible to believe in algebra, and consequently sinned by insufficient scientific knowledge.
Modernity has presented us with another panacea for insoluble issues in the face of neurobiology. This science is not afraid to speak out not only about issues that fall within its sphere of competence, but also about everything that can be expressed. Of course, neuroscientists found time and a place to deal with the central problem of aesthetics, however, only applied to human beauty. So, we meet: Anjan Chatterjee – a neuroscientist and specialist in evolutionary psychology.
The scientist in his work “Aesthetic Brain” tried, albeit in a roundabout way, to find the answer to the question: what is beauty. In his opinion, several parameters affect our sense of beauty: symmetry, averaging, and hormonal levels. Consider them in more detail.
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The main indicator of health in plants, animals and people. Asymmetry suggests some defects or pathologies of development. That is why symmetrical faces, bodies and objects seem more attractive to us.
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The set of basic characteristics of the group. As for man, he prefers breadth and diversity, as, for example, in the case of representatives of mixed races. The more genetic ingredients accumulated in a person, the more he is adapted to the environment. It is believed that at a subconscious level we are looking for precisely such individuals that will become the key to healthy offspring.
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Testosterone and estrogen. Our appearance also depends on their level. Although it is impossible to name certain physical parameters that everyone would like without exception, however, over time, the most preferred characteristics nevertheless become common for the group. In other words, something abnormal is excluded from the reproductive circle.
What happens to the brain during contemplation of the beautiful
We saw a pretty face – what happens to us in this case? The region of the visual cortex and the centers responsible for pleasure and reward are activated in our brain. Interacting with each other, these areas fix in us the response to the beauty seen.
In addition, in our minds, the concepts of “beautiful” and “good” are so artfully intertwined that nice people are more often seen by others as intelligent, reliable and, in general, wonderful personalities. Such processes occur unconsciously, but directly affect our life with you. It is more convenient for us to communicate and conduct business with beautiful people, not disfigured. Fortunately, there are exceptions to this rule.
Scientists believe that the basic characteristics of human attractiveness were laid in us about 2 million years ago. Since then, a lot of important things have happened, especially recently. In particular, one can note the fairly rapid development of medicine, genetics, the occurrence of artificial insemination and contraceptives. All this in the future may lead to a gradual revision of the concept of human beauty.
Finally, Mr. Chatterjee reports that neurobiology, unfortunately, is not able to solve the problems of aesthetics in their general form. It can only explain certain phenomena, and even with certain reservations. But this should be enough to understand a little better what we are.