01/24/2014 11:49 am ET

Neuroaesthetic Research Probes Link Between Art, Perception, and the Self

GIUSEPPE CACACE via Getty Images

When you look at a painting and feel that somehow it was made just for a person like you, it might actually be true. New neuroscience research shows that deep feeling of personal resonance from some works of art is linked to your brain’s sense of self.

As Pacific Standard has reported, research published last month in the peer-reviewed journal Frontiers in Neuroscience  (the full text is here) examines how the brain’s default mode network (DMN), usually inactive when you are engaged with the outside world, responds to these particular works of art that especially move you. Since the DMN is connected to introspection and the self, this could mean that the feeling that a work of art is intensely personal is activating parts of our brain very much associated with personal identities.