2017年04月01日 05:17来源:互联网作者:上海管理员

摘要:本篇文章新航道继续给大家分享:剑桥雅思11Test2Passage3阅读原文+译文:神经美学。想要获取真题的同学,请戳:剑桥雅思真题11PDF+音频下载 。

  上一篇文章是:剑11雅思阅读Test1Passage1解析 本片文章新航道 雅思培训 继续给大家分享:剑桥雅思11Text2 Passage3阅读原文+参考译文析。想要获取真题的同学,请戳:剑桥雅思真题11PDF+音频下载




  You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 27-40, which are based on Reading Passage 3 below.


  An emerging discipline called neuroaesthetics is seeking to bring scientific objectivity to the study of art, and has already given us a better understanding of many masterpieces. The blurred imagery of Impressionist paintings seems to stimulate the brain’s amygdala, for instance. Since the amygdala plays a crucial role in our feelings, that finding might explain why many people find these pieces so moving.

  Could the same approach also shed light on abstract twentieth-century pieces, from Mondrian’s geometrical blocks of colour, to Pollock’s seemingly haphazard arrangements of splashed paint on canvas? Sceptics believe that people claim to like such works simply because they are famous. We certainly do have an inclination to follow the crowd. When asked to make simple perceptual decisions such as matching a shape to its rotated image, for example, people often choose a definitively wrong answer if they see others doing the same. It is easy to imagine that this mentality would have even more impact on a fuzzy concept like art appreciation, where there is no right or wrong answer.

  Angelina Hawley-Dolan, of Boston College, Massachusetts, responded to this debate by asking volunteers to view pairs of paintings — either the creations of famous abstract artists or the doodles of infants, chimps and elephants. They then had to judge which they preferred. A third of the paintings were given no captions, while many were labelled incorrectly — volunteers might think they were viewing a chimp’s messy brushstrokes when they were actually seeing an acclaimed masterpiece. In each set of trials, volunteers generally preferred the work of renowned artists, even when they believed it was by an animal or a child. It seems that the viewer can sense the artist’s vision in paintings, even if they can’t explain why.

  Robert Pepperell, an artist based at Cardiff University, creates ambiguous works that are neither entirely abstract nor clearly representational. In one study, Pepperell and his collaborators asked volunteers to decide how ‘powerful’ they considered an artwork to be, and whether they saw anything familiar in the piece. The longer they took to answer these questions, the more highly they rated the piece under scrutiny, and the greater their neural activity. It would seem that the brain sees these images as puzzles, and the harder it is to decipher the meaning, the more rewarding is the moment of recognition.

  And what about artists such as Mondrian, whose paintings consist exclusively of horizontal and vertical lines encasing blocks of colour? Mondrian’s works are deceptively simple, but eye-tracking studies confirm that they are meticulously composed, and that simply rotating a piece radically changes the way we view it. With the originals, volunteers’ eyes tended to stay longer on certain places in the image, but with the altered versions they would flit across a piece more rapidly. As a result, the volunteers considered the altered versions less pleasurable when they later rated the work.

  In a similar study, Oshin Vartanian of Toronto University asked volunteers to compare original paintings with ones which he had altered by moving objects around within the frame. He found that almost everyone preferred the original, whether it was a Van Gogh still life or an abstract by Miro. Vartanian also found that changing the composition of the paintings reduced activation in those brain areas linked with meaning and interpretation.

  In another experiment, Alex Forsythe of the University of Liverpool analysed the visual intricacy of different pieces of art, and her results suggest that many artists use a key level of detail to please the brain. Too little and the work is boring, but too much results in a kind of ‘perceptual overload’; according to Forsythe. What’s more, appealing pieces both abstract and representational, show signs of ‘fractals’ — repeated motifs recurring in different scales. Fractals are common throughout nature, for example in the shapes of mountain peaks or the branches of trees. It is possible that our visual system, which evolved in the great outdoors, finds it easier to process such patterns.

  It is also intriguing that the brain appears to process movement when we see a handwritten letter, as if we are replaying the writer’s moment of creation. This has led some to wonder whether Pollock’s works feel so dynamic because the brain reconstructs the energetic actions the artist used as he painted. This may be down to our brain’s ‘mirror neurons’, which are known to mimic others’ actions. The hypothesis will need to be thoroughly tested, however. It might even be the case that we could use neuroaesthetic studies to understand the longevity of some pieces of artwork. While the fashions of the time might shape what is currently popular, works that are best adapted to our visual system may be the most likely to linger once the trends of previous generations have been forgotten.

  It’s still early days for the field of neuroaesthetics — and these studies are probably only a taste of what is to come. It would, however, be foolish to reduce art appreciation to a set of scientific laws. We shouldn’t underestimate the importance of the style of a particular artist, their place in history and the artistic environment of their time. Abstract art offers both a challenge and the freedom to play with different interpretations. In some ways, it’s not so different to science, where we are constantly looking for systems and decoding meaning so that we can view and appreciate the world in a new way.




  马萨诸塞州波士顿学院的Angelina Hawley-Dolan回应这一争论的方式是让志愿者们观察一些作品——著名抽象派画家的作品或是婴儿、猩猩或大象的涂鸦。他们需要判断更喜欢哪一种。有三分之一的作品没有给出图片说明,而很多是被错误标注的——当志愿者看到一幅受人赞扬的名画时,他们可能认为自己正在观看黑猩猩杂乱无章的绘画。在每一组试验中,志愿者往往更喜欢著名艺术家的作品,即使他们认为这是由动物或儿童完成的。似乎观察者能够感觉到艺术家在作品中的意义,即使他们无法解释为什么。

  卡迪夫大学的艺术家Robert Pepperell创作了模棱两可的作品,它们既不是完全抽象的,也不是清晰具象的。在一项研究中,Pepperell和他的同事要求志愿者判断他们认为一幅作品是多么“有力”,以及他们是否在作品中看到了任何熟悉的事物。他们用来回答问题的时间越久,经过观察后给出的分数越高,并且他们的神经活动越活跃。这或许意味着大脑将这些图像看做谜题,破解其含义的过程越困难,识别的时候就会有更多收获感。


  在一项类似的研究中,多伦多大学的Oshin Vartanian要求志愿者比较原作和在作品框架内移动物体后的作品。他发现几乎每个人都更喜欢原作,无论它是梵高的静物作品还是米罗的抽象派作品。Vartanian同样发现改变绘画的构成方式会降低那些与意义和理解有关的大脑区域的激活。

  在另一项实验中,利物浦大学的Alex Forsythe研究了不同艺术作品的视觉复杂性,她的研究结果表明很多艺术家使用关键的细节来令大脑愉悦。根据Forsythe的观点,细节太少,作品会过于乏味,而细节太多会导致一种“知觉超载”。此外,吸引人的作品,无论抽象或具象,都表现出“分形”的迹象——重复的图形以不同的比例重现。分形在自然中非常普遍,例如在山峰或是树枝的形状中。可能我们在户外进化的视觉系统发现处理这类模式更为简单。



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