Research suggests viewing works of art can stimulate much the same response as being in love. That is the conclusion of a series of brain-mapping experiments conducted by a professor of neurobiology and neuroaesthetics at the University College of London.
“Looking at art triggers a surge of feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine into the brain and results in feelings of intense pleasure,” says Professor Semir Zeki. “We have recently found that when we look at things we consider to be beautiful, there is increased activity in the pleasure reward centers of the brain. Essentially, the feel-good centers are stimulated, similar to the stages of love and desire.”