[The Stendhal Syndrome between psychoanalysis and neuroscience].

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[The Stendhal Syndrome between psychoanalysis and neuroscience].

Riv Psichiatr. 2014 Mar-Apr;49(2):61-6

Authors: Innocenti C, Fioravanti G, Spiti R, Faravelli C

The Stendhal Syndrome was proposed in 1977 by the Florentine psychiatrist Graziella Magherini who observed and described an acute and unexpected psychiatric breakdown among tourists exposed to artworks. Aim. The aim of the present study is to evaluate whether the Stendhal Syndrome has achieved a solid scientific validity any years after its first description. The relationship between art and psychopathology is evaluated within a modern neurobiological perspective, also taking into account the recent neuroaesthetic theories. Method. An updated review of the current literature was conducted in order to compare the psychological and neurobiological perspectives. Results. There are suggestions that specific cerebral areas are activated while observing an artwork. Conclusions. There is no scientific evidence to define the Stendhal Syndrome as a specific psychiatric disorder; on the other hand there is evidence that the same cerebral areas involved in emotional reactions are activated during the exposure to artworks.

PMID: 24770571 [PubMed – in process]

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