This is a long video, so I'll summarize below: [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NzShMiqKgQ"]YouTube- 40/40 Vision Lecture: Neurology and the Passion for Art[/ame] Ramachandran strikes again. This time, he makes a hypothesis that great (visual) art exaggerates features that activate neurons in the visual cortex that we all share, and that this activation is what makes great art appeal to us. In other words, emphasizing what makes something what it is (he talks mostly about femininity) activates the brain more, and thus we prefer the art to the real thing. Of course, he's not saying that this is the only reason that people like art, but rather that insofar as a particular piece of art can be appreciated by humans in general, that's what's happening. I am inclined to agree with him, though I disagree with his counterargument that the people who don't like, say, Picasso, are in denial due to interference with other parts of the brain. I think that the distortion needed to emphasize the essence of an object can actually fail for some people due to suboptimal wiring, and that this distortion can actually create a counter-reaction of disgust.