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date: 15 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

There is considerable evidence to suggest that aesthetic experiences engage a distributed set of structures in the brain, and likely emerge from the interactions of multiple neural systems. In addition, aside from an external (i.e., object-focused) orientation, aesthetic experiences also involve an internal (i.e., person-focused) orientation. This internal orientation appears to have two dissociable neural components: one component involves the processing of visceral feeling states (i.e., interoception) and primarily engages the insula, whereas the other involves the processing of self-referential, autobiographical, and narrative information, and is represented by activation in the default mode network. Evidence supporting this neural dissociation has provided insights into processes that can lead to deep and moving aesthetic experiences.

Keywords: aesthetics, self-referential, interoception, narrative, default mode network

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