Student Pages
Undergraduate course


Main content

Level of Study


Teaching semester


Place of Instruction


Objectives and Content


The course aims to provide a broad understanding of neuroaesthetics, illustrated by a selection of particularly significant and recent scientific works in this field. Basic visual physiology on perception of form and color is also a central topic. Another goal is to clarify how modern brain research may provide insight into creative mechanisms in paleoart.


Neuroaesthetics lies at the intersection between cognitive psychology, neurobiology and art. In neuro-aesthetics methods primarily deriving from cognitive psychology are used to study how the brain responds to aesthetic stimuli.

The study includes topics like

*neuronal activation in response to aesthetic stimuli

* method: different types of brain scans

* physiology of vision

* Aesthetics and cognition in an evolutionary perspective

Learning Outcomes

After successfully completing this course, students will have:



General knowledge

The student

* Has a basic understanding of how aesthetic stimuli activate specific anatomical structures in the brain and how cognitive and affective factors interact in aesthetic perception.

* Is able to understand why a particular method and experimental setup (paradigm) can answer the central questions raised in a particular study.

* Have knowledge about theories of aesthetics as seen in an evolutionary perspective.

The student

* Understands basic neurophysiology and neuroanatomy.

* Understands the principles for how to build an f-MRI paradigm using cognitive subtraction.

* Can interpret f-MRI images by identifying the Brodmann sites activated, and understand changes in activation from condition a to condition b.

The student

* Is able to use the terminology and discourse forms in neuroaesthetics in an independent work with key professional issues.

* have basic understanding of the nature of scientific thinking and methodology: the hypothetical deductive method.

Required Previous Knowledge


Recommended Previous Knowledge

It is of great help but no prerequisite to have basic insights from psychology and biology instructed at university level.

Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap


Access to the Course

The course is open to all students at UiB

Teaching and learning methods

Normally 14-16 double lectures (2x45 min).

If less than five students are registered to a course, the department might reduce the teaching, please see the department¿s guidelines regarding this on "My page". Regarding a course where this is a possibility the students get information about this at the beginning of the semester, and before the deadline regarding semester registration 1.February/1.September.

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance


Forms of Assessment

7 day home exam. The length of the text should be 3500-4000 words.

Grading Scale


Assessment Semester

Spring or Autumn, but not regularly. There is also assessment early in the following semester given the course was held in the previous semester.

Reading List

The reading list for the coming semester will be presented within 01.06/01.12.

Course Evaluation

Evaluation will be conducted in accordance with the University of Bergen's quality assurance system.

Course Coordinator

Per Olav Folgerø


Exam information

  • Type of assessment: Take-home examination

    Assignment handed out
    22.05.2023, 13:00
    Submission deadline
    30.05.2023, 13:00
    Withdrawal deadline
    Examination system
    Digital exam