By Ingo Rentschler, Barbara Herzberger, David Epstein (auth.), Ingo Rentschler, Barbara Herzberger, David Epstein (eds.)
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Extra resources for Beauty and the Brain: Biological Aspects of Aesthetics
22 Moreover, experiments with decoys (dummies) revealed that innate releasing mechanisms are responsive to exaggeration: it is possible to artificially create objects that surpass the natural releasing object in its releasing quality. Designs with child appeal, which serve the functions of bonding and appeasing, are widely used. This is motivated by the fact that certain child features release nurturant behavior as demonstrated by Konrad Lorenz' 23 Kindchenschema (baby schema), which is characterized by conspicuous size relations.
A child appeals to us due to its delicate features, predominant forehead, and other characteristics already discussed in connection with the Kindchenschema. Males, indeed, consider as attractive those females who have features that combine infantile facial characteristics with the typical sex characteristics of the mature female (Fig. 11 ). In quite a number of races, females exhibit strong paedomorphic traits. It is also apparent that this feature, in combination with the aesthetic appeal, releases protective, caretaking behavior.
Through this investment, the objects take on a different function. In this context, I would also like to refer to the very stirnulating works of Otto Koenig 57 •58 on the "biology of uniforms," in which he demonstrates how functional parts of uniforms in time change into decor when much working time is invested in them, making them too valuable to serve their previous functions. Fig. 18. (left) Eipo dance net ( right) Decorative net ofEipo neighbors (Irian Jaya) Photostaken in Irian Jaya, westem New Guinea by: I.
Beauty and the Brain: Biological Aspects of Aesthetics by Ingo Rentschler, Barbara Herzberger, David Epstein (auth.), Ingo Rentschler, Barbara Herzberger, David Epstein (eds.)