"Perhaps there’s a neurological component to all this; to the sudden rise of the mood board as mood regulator, a kind of low-dose visual lithium. And have no fear, the new field of neuroaesthetics, which investigates the neural basis for aesthetic experience, is all over it. One theory, for example, holds that if we’re rewarded in choosing one type of aesthetic experience over another, we will learn to respond to the particular characteristics of that experience. V. S. Ramachandran, in his book “The Tell-Tale Brain,” likened this to a behavioral experiment: if a rat is rewarded for choosing a rectangle over a square, it will learn to respond to “rectangularity” and start to favor rectangles in general. So maybe we are like the rats, and what we’re seeking while idly yet compulsively cruising Pinterest is really just the reliably unpredictable jumble of emotions that their wistful, quirky juxtapositions evoke. Maybe that is our rectangularity."
Carina Chocano, “Pinterest, Tumblr, and the Trouble With ‘Curation’”
How is this different from the pseudoscience discussed in that New Statesman article? I think the important question is how do we differentiate between writers like Gladwell and those like Steven Pinker? Looked at that a few weeks ago.
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