Maths hits same sweet spot in brain as do music and art: Study

   Feb 13, 3:23 pm

Washington, Feb. 13 (ANI): People who appreciate the beauty of mathematics activate the same part of their brain when they look at aesthetically pleasing formula as others do when appreciating art or music, a new research has suggested.

In a new paper, researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to image the brain activity of 15 mathematicians when they viewed mathematical formulae that they had previously rated as beautiful, neutral or ugly.

The results showed that the experience of mathematical beauty correlates with activity in the same part of the emotional brain - namely the medial orbito-frontal cortex - as the experience of beauty derived from art or music.

Lead author Professor Semir Zeki, from the Wellcome Laboratory of Neurobiology at UCL, said that to many of them mathematical formulae appear dry and inaccessible but to a mathematician an equation can embody the quintescence of beauty.

In the study, each subject was given 60 mathematical formulae to review at leisure and rate on a scale of -5 (ugly) to +5 (beautiful) according to how beautiful they experienced them to be. Two weeks later they were asked to re-rate them while in an fMRI scanner.

The formulae most consistently rated as beautiful (both before and during the scans) were Leonhard Euler's identity, the Pythagorean identity and the Cauchy-Riemann equations. Leonhard Euler's identity links five fundamental mathematical constants with three basic arithmetic operations each occurring once and the beauty of this equation has been likened to that of the soliloquy in Hamlet.

The paper has been published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. (ANI)

Scientists discover deep-sea octopus that broods eggs for over 4 years Jul 31, 12:35 pm
Washington, July 31 (ANI): Scientists have observed a deep-sea octopus that brood its eggs for four and one half years-longer than any other known animal.
Full Story
Future cars may be powered by waste CO2! Jul 31, 11:50 am
Washington, July 31 (ANI): Scientists have synthesized a new catalyst that can convert waste carbon dioxide into fuel and other energy-rich products, which is a big step toward industrialization.
Full Story
Study claims Alps' 53000-yr-old mummified iceman had heart disease genes Jul 31, 11:49 am
Washington, July 31 (ANI): Scientists have revealed that the 5,300-year-old Tyrolean Iceman from the Alps had a strong genetic predisposition for increased risk for coronary heart disease (CHD).
Full Story
Low CO2 levels lead to formation of Antarctic ice sheet Jul 31, 11:24 am
Washington, July 31 (ANI): A new research has demonstrated that massive rearrangements of Earth's continents including decreased CO2 levels caused the abrupt formation of the Antarctic ice sheet.
Full Story
Comments

LATEST STORIES
TOP VIDEO STORIES
PHOTO GALLERY