Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
Review
, 204, 191-216

Perception of Emotion in Abstract Artworks: A Multidisciplinary Approach

Affiliations
Review

Perception of Emotion in Abstract Artworks: A Multidisciplinary Approach

David Melcher et al. Prog Brain Res.

Abstract

There is a long-standing and fundamental debate regarding how emotion can be expressed by fine art. Some artists and theorists have claimed that certain features of paintings, such as color, line, form, and composition, can consistently express an "objective" emotion, while others have argued that emotion perception is subjective and depends more on expertise of the observer. Here, we discuss two studies in which we have found evidence for consistency in observer ratings of emotion for abstract artworks. We have developed a stimulus set of abstract art images to test emotional priming, both between different painting images and between paintings and faces. The ratings were also used in a computational vision analysis of the visual features underlying emotion expression. Overall, these findings suggest that there is a strong bottom-up and objective aspect to perception of emotion in abstract artworks that may tap into basic visual mechanisms.

Keywords: abstract art; art and neuroscience; computer vision; emotion; neuroaesthetics; visual art; visual perception.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 5 articles

Publication types

LinkOut - more resources

Feedback