In this review, I provide an overall description of the findings obtained from neuroimaging studies aimed at investigating the neural substrates underpinning aesthetic experience when viewing masterpieces of Classical art. In particular, I here argue the idea that aesthetic experience is hallmarked by a hedonic response to the stimuli. This response would be triggered, according to our proposal, by integration of emotional and cognitive processes at the level of the right insular cortex and, more specifically, of its anterodorsal sector. I then discuss the recent results suggesting that the hedonic quality characterizing aesthetic experience for artworks is absent when aesthetically appraising biological non-artist stimuli.
- AESTHETIC EXPERIENCE