Have you ever had a moment with someone where one of you turns on the radio and you both start jamming to that one song that you both love? Do you tend to laugh harder at a movie when you’re around other people? Apparently, there is a scientific reason behind that.
It’s called neuroaesthetics. It’s a relatively new field in the realm of research that intersects neuroscience, and psychological aesthetics. Scientists heavily involved in this field are focused primarily on discovering the biological history of the cognitive process of the brain when partaking in creative activities.
Neuroaesthetics helps us understand why people tend to be more engaged in performances when they are around other people. We are naturally designed to sense other peoples’ emotions, and if the people around us are openly enjoying a performance, it is very likely that you will have strong feelings towards the performance as well.
Art is very powerful in that it can evoke emotions out of people, and when we share our emotions with other people, those feelings are amplified. For example, if you’re attending a symphony orchestra concert, and the songs are particularly somber, if you see the person next to you tearing up, you could very well be in need of a few tissues yourself.
Researchers also state that our brain relies on movement. Any sort of motion, from waving your hand to raising an eyebrow, or doing a thumbs up; our brain immediately recognize these movements as they are all apart of social cues. In turn, we will likely return the gesture. If a group of people are seeing a play with an intense dance number, it may spark an urge in an individual to get up and dance, although that may or may not be acceptable while sitting in the audience.
In a way, it’s almost as if humans share a stream of consciousness when in a crowd. At a concert for your favorite artist, more than likely everyone there will be enjoying themselves, clapping or cheering when the artist finishes a song, and dancing or moving along with the music. That’s not just a normal social interaction, it’s also the way our brain is programmed to function. Humans thrive off of some amount of interaction with other humans, no matter how great or little the amount. The multitude of ways in which people connect with each other could really be considered an art in and of itself.