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Viewing visual art can be a dramatic, richly rewarding yet wholly personal event. In discussing the aesthetic appreciation of pictures within the bounds of perceptual research, an attempt is made to cross a significant chasm between a detailed cellular and cortical understanding of lower-level visual objective properties such as color and shape, and a less clear understanding of higher-level visual phenomenology or subjective experience. Over the centuries, both the definition and content of an aesthetic experience has meant many things to many people; however, perceptual research has tended to define aesthetic appreciation in terms of some measure of preference based on the perceived beauty of the image in question. In this respect, perceptual research provides echoes of both David Hume's and Immanuel Kant's approaches to ...

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