Beauty is in the eye of beholder - Cinzia DiDio BLOG

Beauty is in the eye of beholder

The latest research conducted in the field of neuro-aesthetics, the science that investigates the experience of beauty through the methods and tools provided by neuroscience, tries to answer the question that has haunted philosophers for hundreds of years:

does exist an objective basis for beautiful or is the aesthetic sense purely subjective?

A popular saying, which we have all cited at least once in our life, states that “beauty is in the eye of beholder“, because beauty is a matter of subjective pleasure, linked to the personal experience of each of us, which makes us “feel” the work of art or the loved one through the profound meaning we give it.

At the same time, however, in that there is the realization that there is a beauty regardless of any individual experience and that is universally recognized as such. The motto, in fact, would not exclude the idea of an ​​objective beauty, but would simply invite us not to judge those aesthetic preferences that do not coincide with what is objectively considered beautiful.

Today, thanks to modern non-invasive techniques of brain imaging, «it is possible to observe which brain areas are active during the aesthetic experience, while considering the complexity of investigation linked to this domain» (Di Dio 2007), and to better understand what happens when we are faced with a work of art universally recognized as beautiful.

It is on these issues that is articulated the talk “The golden beauty” presented at TEDx by the neuroscientist Cinzia Di Dio (Researcher at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore of Milan Milan and Advisory board member of Tuned-Lombardini22), who has been dealing with these topics for years and which we advise you to look at the following link:


Di Dio 2007 – Cinzia Di Dio, Emiliano Macaluso, Giacomo Rizzolatti G (2007), The Golden Beauty: Brain Response to Classical and Renaissance Sculptures, PLoS ONE 2(11): e1201. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0001201

Download this paper: