"Viewing art gives the same pleasure as falling in love." says Samantha Smithstein, Psy.D.
In a series of pioneering brain-mapping experiments, Zeki scanned the brains of volunteers as they looked at 28 works of art, including works by Botticelli, Monet, and Constable. He found that viewing art triggers a surge of the feel-good chemical dopamine, into the orbito-frontal cortex of the brain, resulting in feelings of intense pleasure. Dopamine and the orbito-frontal cortex are known to be involved in desire, affection, pleasure, and romantic love.