Investigation why the original paintings are preferred from perspective of color statistics and EEG study

By Yoma Taniyama (Toyohashi Univ. of Technology), visiting researcher at RITMO during October-November 2019

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Yuma Taniyama

In October and November, I underwent an internship at RITMO for less than three weeks. I was able to have a good experience and get an international relationship. While staying in Oslo, I was working on an Electroencephalogram (EEG) study focusing on aesthetics and color perception on paintings.




Which one do you prefer between the two paintings above? According to previous studies, the majority of people prefer the painting on the left. What is the difference between the two? Actually, the painting on the left is the original (i.e., what the artist painted) and the one on the right is a version of the previous painting where we changed only the color hues from the original ones.

It is likely that you have not seen before both ‘paintings’ but you probably preferred the original one. Note that the average luminance and color chromaticity between the two images are the same. Nevertheless, the original hues of the painting seems to be preferable by a majority of people.

The question that I am investigating is: why are the original colors preferred? My approach originates from the perspective of color statistics (objective indicator) in the physical worlds as well as psychophysiology (subjective indicator). One assumption is that aesthetic preference is modulated by individual differences such as each individual’s living space and not only by universal factors such as a preference for a certain proportion (e.g., golden ratio) or harmony. By collecting experimental data on preference with these painting in another country from Japan seems important, since it may reveal cultural differences.
Finally, in those three weeks of my of the RITPART-RITMO's short term scientific mission, I had many valuable experiences; not only I conducted a pilot experiment overseas but I definitely broadened my perspectives about many ordinary things (e.g., sightseeing, food, etc.). I felt really comfortable in Oslo and at the university. I hope to come back there again if possible.

Published Dec. 11, 2019 3:21 PM - Last modified Mar. 23, 2020 4:40 PM