Anjan Chatterjee, a neuroscientist, author, and professor, begins his talk on cognitive science by considering some of the theories behind its evolution, and how they've specifically affected the human understanding of beauty.
Chatterjee continues by considering how humans have come to find different face shapes and body types attractive due to survival techniques. For example, he goes into detail to give his audience an understanding of why facial symmetry if often seen as so important, as a symmetrical face was once used to assess one's brain development and overall health. In addition, Chatterjee considered that role that estrogen and testosterone play on how heterosexual attraction can work, as humans once needed to find partners that they could successfully procreate with to ensure their survival.
Although Chatterjee acknowledges the impact that these factors have on beauty ideals, he also shows that they can be totally arbitrary. In addition, he considers how a person's perception of beauty can affect their overall opinion of someone, and cause people to be treated unfairly. By showing this, Chatterjee unveils the need for these perspectives to evolve, so that one's intelligence and character is based off of their actions and merit, rather than their traditionally attractive features.
How the Brain Sees Beauty
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