Poster A98, Saturday, March 24, 1:30–3:30 pm, Exhibit Hall C
The effect of writing style on mu rhythm while appreciating Chinese calligraphy
Shwu-Lih Huang1, Wei-Li Tu1, Guang-Yi Lai1; 1National Chengchi University
Empathy or embodied simulation, with the mirror neuron system (MNS) as the underlying mechanism, was proposed to be involved in art appreciation in previous studies. In this research, Chinese calligraphy was used as the material to explore this issue further. Rich information about the gesture of artist can be found in the brushstroke of Chinese calligraphy. It is reasonable to propose that MNS plays an important role in appreciating Chinese calligraphy. Furthermore, appreciating calligraphic words written in a style with higher expressivity (e.g., running hand) should arouse higher activity in MNS compared to other styles with lower expressivity (e.g., regular script). To verify this hypothesis, two styles of hand-written Chinese calligraphy (running hand and regular script) and one style of print-word (boldface) were included as the conditions of independent variable. The dependent variable recorded the power of mu rhythm that reflecting MNS activity while the naïve participants were viewing the presented single-word. As predicted, the results showed that the amplitude of mu suppression was larger for the style of running hand than regular script in time interval of 1200-1600 ms after stimulus onset. The difference was significant in interval 1300-1400 ms for site C3, and 1300-1400 ms and 1500-1600 ms for site C4. This finding indicated that appreciating different styles of Chinese calligraphy activate MNS differently. It also provided another evidence for the involvement of MNS in art appreciation. The actual role of MNS in appreciating Chinese calligraphy is worth exploring in the future.
Topic Area: PERCEPTION & ACTION: Other