Recent research by V. S. Ramachandran and Semir Zeki has used neuroscientific methods to investigate the nature of aesthetic response. By situating their work in the context of post-Kantian aesthetic discourse, this essay demonstrates that such research provides an opportunity to bridge cognitive and artistic approaches to aesthetic experience and offers a provisional theory of art that incorporates both empirical and philosophical traditions. These theories will be considered in relation to Bret Easton Ellis's recent novel Lunar Park (2005), which focuses explicitly on questions of representation and reality. Through a juxtaposition of Ramachandran's emphasis on caricature as a central principle of art and Ellis's focus on distorted and questionable realities, this essay suggests new possibilities for the integration of cognitive science with literary and philosophical criticism.

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