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      Does Amount of Information Support Aesthetic Values?


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          Obtaining information from the world is important for survival. The brain, therefore, has special mechanisms to extract as much information as possible from sensory stimuli. Hence, given its importance, the amount of available information may underlie aesthetic values. Such information-based aesthetic values would be significant because they would compete with others to drive decision-making. In this article, we ask, “What is the evidence that amount of information support aesthetic values?” An important concept in the measurement of informational volume is entropy. Research on aesthetic values has thus used Shannon entropy to evaluate the contribution of quantity of information. We review here the concepts of information and aesthetic values, and research on the visual and auditory systems to probe whether the brain uses entropy or other relevant measures, specially, Fisher information, in aesthetic decisions. We conclude that information measures contribute to these decisions in two ways: first, the absolute quantity of information can modulate aesthetic preferences for certain sensory patterns. However, the preference for volume of information is highly individualized, with information-measures competing with organizing principles, such as rhythm and symmetry. In addition, people tend to be resistant to too much entropy, but not necessarily, high amounts of Fisher information. We show that this resistance may stem in part from the distribution of amount of information in natural sensory stimuli. Second, the measurement of entropic-like quantities over time reveal that they can modulate aesthetic decisions by varying degrees of surprise given temporally integrated expectations. We propose that amount of information underpins complex aesthetic values, possibly informing the brain on the allocation of resources or the situational appropriateness of some cognitive models.

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          Most cited references335

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              Interoception: the sense of the physiological condition of the body.

              Converging evidence indicates that primates have a distinct cortical image of homeostatic afferent activity that reflects all aspects of the physiological condition of all tissues of the body. This interoceptive system, associated with autonomic motor control, is distinct from the exteroceptive system (cutaneous mechanoreception and proprioception) that guides somatic motor activity. The primary interoceptive representation in the dorsal posterior insula engenders distinct highly resolved feelings from the body that include pain, temperature, itch, sensual touch, muscular and visceral sensations, vasomotor activity, hunger, thirst, and 'air hunger'. In humans, a meta-representation of the primary interoceptive activity is engendered in the right anterior insula, which seems to provide the basis for the subjective image of the material self as a feeling (sentient) entity, that is, emotional awareness.

                Author and article information

                Front Neurosci
                Front Neurosci
                Front. Neurosci.
                Frontiers in Neuroscience
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                22 March 2022
                : 16
                [1] 1Department of Psychology, Loyola University Chicago , Chicago, IL, United States
                [2] 2Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Neuroscience, Loyola University Chicago , Chicago, IL, United States
                [3] 3Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience, Georgetown University , Washington, DC, United States
                Author notes

                Edited by: Reza Rastmanesh, The Nutrition Society, United Kingdom

                Reviewed by: Andrea Orlandi, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy; Oliver Toskovic, University of Belgrade, Serbia

                *Correspondence: Norberto M. Grzywacz, norberto@ 123456luc.edu

                This article was submitted to Decision Neuroscience, a section of the journal Frontiers in Neuroscience

                Copyright © 2022 Grzywacz and Aleem.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                Page count
                Figures: 7, Tables: 0, Equations: 11, References: 335, Pages: 29, Words: 25536

                aesthetic value,value function,expected utility hypothesis,shannon entropy,fisher information,kalman filtering (kf),surprise and expectation,survival-relevant information


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