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Title: Evaluating aesthetic experience through personal-appearance styles : a behavioral and electrophysiological study
Authors: Cheung, MC
Law, KM 
Yip, YW 
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Source: PLoS one, 2015, v. 9, no. 12, e115112 How to cite?
Journal: PLoS one 
Abstract: Consumers' aesthetic experience has often been linked with the concept of beauty, which is regarded as subjective and may vary between individuals, cultures and places, and across time. With the advent of brain-imaging techniques, there is more and more evidence to suggest that aesthetic experience lies not only in the eye of the beholder, but also in the brain of the beholder. However, there are gaps in the previous research in this area, as several significant issues have not yet been addressed. Specifically, it is unclear whether the human brain really pays more attention and generates more positive emotional responses to beautiful things. To explore the brain activity relating to consumers' aesthetic experiences, 15 participants were recruited voluntarily to view a series of personal-appearance styles. They were invited to make aesthetic judgments while their brain activity was recorded by electroencephalography. Two electroencephalographic (EEG) indicators, theta coherence and frontal alpha symmetry, were utilized. Theta coherence is a measure of linear synchronization between signals at two electrode sites. It reflects the degree of functional cooperation between the underlying neuronal substrates and was used to explore the attentional processing involved in aesthetic judgments. Frontal alpha asymmetry is derived by subtracting the log-transformed absolute alpha power of the left hemisphere from the analogous log-transformed alpha power of the right hemisphere. It was used as an indicator of emotional response. During aesthetic judgments, long-range theta coherence increased in both hemispheres and more positive frontal alpha asymmetry was found when the styles were judged to be beautiful. Therefore, participants demonstrated brain activity suggestive of central executive processing and more positive emotional responses when they considered styles to be beautiful. The study provides some insight into the brain activity associated with consumers' aesthetic experiences, and suggests new directions for exploring consumer behavior from the perspective of neuroscience.
EISSN: 1932-6203
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0115112
Rights: © 2014 Cheung et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
The following publication: Cheung M-c, Law D, Yip J (2014) Evaluating Aesthetic Experience through Personal-Appearance Styles: A Behavioral and Electrophysiological Study. PLoS ONE 9(12): e115112 is available at
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