- Copyright Page
- List of Illustrations
- Notes on Contributors
- In Ancient Rome
- In the Classroom
- In the Custom House
- In Public
- Across Borders
- Mental Representation
- Mindreading and Social Status
- Dyslexia: Through the Eyes of da Vinci
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter provides an overview of ways of understanding the pleasures of reading, blending literary criticism with behavioral psychology. Pleasure has at least two basic functions with works of art, the first is to help identify salient elements of form, and second to release attention for exploration. While pleasure might be imagined to be the final result of engaging with a whole object, we show through an experiment the disjunction between pleasure and complete aesthetic form.
G. Gabrielle Starr is Professor of English and Neuroscience, and President of Pomona College in Claremont, California. Her research on aesthetics has been supported by the Guggenheim Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Amy M. Belfi is Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychological Science at Missouri University of Science and Technology. She received her PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Iowa and completed postdoctoral training at New York University. Her research focuses on the behavioral and neural mechanisms underlying aesthetic experiences such as reading poetry, viewing images, and listening to music.
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