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Beauty and the Brain

Duration:
29 minutes
First broadcast:
Monday 26 May 2014

Dr Tiffany Jenkins asks what our brains can tell us about art. Can there ever be a recipe for beauty? Or are the great works beyond the powers of neuroscience?

She talks to Professor Semir Zeki of University College London, the first person to coin the term, neuroaesthetics, about what happens in the brain when people in a scanner see paintings or hear music.

Professor Gabi Starr at New York University tells Tiffany Jenkins why she thinks there are parts of the brain that light up when we like an art work.

Tiffany visits Christie's auction house to explore whether the best art always commands the best prices.

She also talks to Martin Kemp, Emeritus Professor of Art History at Oxford University, about our different responses to authentic paintings and to fakes.

And Tiffany discusses with art critic JJ Charlesworth why neuroscience is having an influence in some areas of art appreciation.

Picture: The reflection of trees in water, Credit: Getty

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