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Journal Article

Is war on the arts, war on human psychological systems? A view from experimental psychology and affective neuroscience

MPS-Authors

Christensen,  Julia F.
Department of Language and Literature, Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, Max Planck Society;
Warburg Institute, School of Advanced Study, University of London;;

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Citation

Christensen, J. F. (2019). Is war on the arts, war on human psychological systems? A view from experimental psychology and affective neuroscience. Leonardo, 53(2), 1-11. doi:10.1162/leon_a_01769.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0005-649A-D
Abstract
Destruction of cultural heritage and art works by terrorist groups has significant psychological effects for individuals and communities. This article outlines how the negative psychological effects of iconoclasm and arts destruction might be rooted in the human social brain. The proposed neurocognitive mechanisms include: (i) associative learning mechanisms (memory-reward links), (ii) neuroendocrine mechanisms (oxytocin and prolactin-reward links), and (iii) social touch mechanisms (C-t cutaneous mechanoreceptor-reward links). Iconoclasm and arts destruction are a threat to the stability of human psychological systems.