Neuroesthetics: the role of reward mechanisms and preferences during Leonardo’s museum exploration

Federica Leanza, Irene Venturella, Michela Balconi

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaContributo a convegnopeer review


The present research aimed at detecting the visitors’ emotive engagement and neuroesthetics experience during museum spatial exploration. The main purpose is to compare visitors’ behavior within two different museum spaces: the “Leonardo room” is characterized by linear map and ancient and historic artifacts; differently, the “Spatial room” represents the modern museum, strongly interactive, with videos, games and multimedia artifacts. Also, we have compared the visitors’ emotive responses to artifacts evaluated as more positive and negative between the two spatial areas. Implicit (brain oscillations and hemispheric lateralization effect) and explicit (visitor preference behavior) measures were considered in order to define the cortical network related to the reward mechanisms that were supposed to be frontally left-lateralized. Indeed, brain oscillations (delta, theta, alpha, beta) and lateralization effect (Log-transformed-Asymmetry, LTA) were monitored within the prefrontal area when 18 visitors (7 women and 11 men) participated to the study: they were asked to freely explore for 10 minutes each area and to express their preference on them. Mainly frontal alpha band power revealed a significant decrease (cortical activity) in all visitors during the “Leonardo room” exploration evaluated as more interesting for historic link to Leonardo da Vinci’s works, compared to “Spatial room”. In addition, it was observed in general a more emotive engagement for men; in fact, a left DLPFC decrease of alpha activity was observed in men compared to women in response to artifacts considered as more positive, involving and interesting. It is supposed to be related to the topics represented in the museum (e.g. artifacts: models of military engineering, spacesuits, rockets). Left DLPFC was responsive to higher rewarding condition, predicting the preferred artifacts. Therefore, a strong relationship was revealed between explicit and implicit measures based on reward mechanisms.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)111-111
Numero di pagine1
RivistaNeuropsychological Trends
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2015
EventoXXIII Congresso Nazionale della Società Italiana di Psicofisiologia - SIPF - Lucca
Durata: 19 nov 201521 nov 2015


  • Neuroaesthetics
  • Psychophysiology


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