Marcos Nadal

Department of Psychology
University of the Balearic Islands

Research interests:

Psychological Aesthetics
Neuroaesthetics (International Network for Neuroaesthetics)
Evolution of the mind

Researcher ID:

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2015-present: Profesor Contratado Doctor
Faculty of Psychology, University of the Balearic Islands

2012-2015: Postdoc University Assistant
Faculty of Psychology, University of Vienna

2010-2012: Profesor Contratado Doctor
Faculty of Psychology, University of the Balearic Islands

2008-2010: Profesor Ayudante Doctor
Faculty of Psychology, University of the Balearic Islands

2001-2008: Profesor Asociado
Faculty of Psychology, University of the Balearic Islands


2004-2007: PhD in Human Cognition and Evolution
(University of the Balearic Islands)

2002-2003: Master in Human Cognition and Evolution
(University of the Balearic Islands)

1994-2001: Degree in Psychology
(University of the Balearic Islands)


2017: Daniel E. Berlyne Award from the American Psychological Association, Division 10: Society for the Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts.

2014: Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten Award from the International Association of Empirical Aesthetics



Articles in peer-reviewed journals:


Vartanian, O., Navarrete, G., Chatterjee, A., Fich, L. B., Leder, H., Modroño, C., Rostrup, N., Skov, M., Corradi, G., & Nadal, M. (2017). Preference for curvilinear contour in interior architectural spaces: Evidence from experts and nonexperts. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, in press.

Gómez-Puerto, G., Rosselló, J., Corradi, G., Acedo-Carmona, C., Munar, E., & Nadal, M. (2017). Preference for curved contours across cultures. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, advance online publication. [html]

Nadal, M., Vartanian, O., & Skov, M. (2017). Psychological models of art reception must be empirically grounded. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, in press. [pdf]

Nadal, M. & Skov, M. (2017). Top-down and bottom-up: front to back. Comment on “Move me, astonish me. . . delight my eyes and brain: The Vienna Integrated Model of top–down and bottom–up processes in Art Perception (VIMAP) and corresponding affective, evaluative, and neurophysiological correlates” by Matthew Pelowski et al. Physics of Life Reviews, 21, 148-149. [html]

Ferrari, C., Nadal, M., Schiavi, S., Cela-Conde, C. J., & Cattaneo, Z. (2017). The dorsomedial prefrontal cortex mediates the intersection of ethics and aesthetics: a TMS study on the Beauty-is-Good stereotype.  Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 12, 707-717. [html]

Cattaneo, Z., Schiavi, S., Silvanto, J., Nadal, M. (2017). A TMS study on the contribution of visual area V5 to the perception of implied motion in art and its appreciation. Cognitive Neuroscience, 8, 59-68. [pdf]


Pearce, M. T., Zaidel, D. W., Vartanian, O., Skov, M., Leder, H., Chatterjee, A., & Nadal, M. (2016). Neuroaesthetics: The Cognitive Neuroscience of Aesthetic Experience. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 11, 265-279. [html]

Gómez-Puerto, G., Munar, E., & Nadal, M. (2016). Preference for curvature: A historical and conceptual framework. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 9:712. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2015.00712 [html]


Munar, E., Gómez-Puerto, G., Call, J., & Nadal, M. (2015). Common visual preference for curved contours in humans and great apes. PLoS ONE, 10(11): e0141106. [html]

Machado, P., Romero, J., Nadal, M., Santos, A., Correia, J., & Carballal, A. (2015). Computerized measures of visual complexity. Acta Psychologica, 160, 43-57. [pdf]

Brieber, D., Leder, H., & Nadal, M. (2015). The experience of art in museums: An attempt to dissociate the role of physical context and genuineness. Empirical Studies of the Arts, 33, 95-105. [pdf]

Ferrari, C., Lega, C., Tamietto, M., Nadal, M., & Cattaneo, Z. (2015). I find you more attractive … after (prefrontal cortex) stimulation. Neuropsychologia, 72, 87-93. [pdf]

Nadal, M., & Rosselló, J. (2015). Variability and Situatedness of Human Emotions: Comment on “The quartet theory of human emotions: An integrative and neurofunctional model” by S. Koelsch et al. Physics of Life Reviews13, 75-76. [pdf]

Cattaneo, Z., Lega, C., Ferrari, C., Vecchi, T., Cela-Conde, C. J., Silvanto, J., & Nadal, M. (2015). The role of the lateral occipital cortex in aesthetic appreciation of representational and abstract paintings: a TMS study. Brain and Cognition, 95, 44-53. [pdf]

Brieber, D., Nadal, M., & Leder, H. (2015). In the white cube: Museum context enhances the valuation and memory of art. Acta Psychologica, 154, 36-42. doi: 10.1016/j.actpsy.2014.11.004. [pdf]

Vartanian, O., Navarrete, G., Chatterjee, A., Fich, L. B., Gonzalez-Mora, J. L., Leder, H., Modroño, C., Nadal, M., Rostrup, N., & Skov, M. (2015). Architectural design and the brain: Effects of ceiling height and perceived enclosure on beauty judgments and approach-avoidance decisions. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 41, 10-18. [pdf]


Cattaneo, Z., Lega, C., Flexas, A., Nadal, M., Munar, E., & Cela-Conde, C. J. (2014). The world can look better: enhancing beauty experience with brain stimulationSocial Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 9, 1704-1712. doi: 10.1093/scan/nst165. [pdf]

Leder, H., & Nadal, M. (2014). Ten years of a model of aesthetic appreciation and aesthetic judgments: The aesthetic episode—developments and challenges in empirical aesthetics. British Journal of Psychology, 105, 443–464. [pdf]

Cattaneo, Z., Lega, C., Gardelli, C., Merabet, L. B., Cela-Conde, C. J. & Nadal, M. (2014). The role of prefrontal and parietal cortices in esthetic appreciation of representational and abstract art: A TMS study. Neuroimage, 99, 443–450. [pdf]

Flexas, A., Rossello-Mir, J., de Miguel, P., Nadal, M. and Munar, E. (2014). Cognitive control and unusual decisions about beauty: An fMRI study. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 8:520. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2014.00520 [html]

Brieber, D., Nadal, M., Leder, H. & Rosenberg, R. (2014). Art in Time and Space: Context Modulates the Relation between Art Experience and Viewing Time. PLoS ONE, 9(6): e99019. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0099019. [html]

Christensen, J. F.; Nadal, M.; Cela-Conde, C. J. & Gomila, A. (2014). A norming study and library of 203 dance movements. Perception, 43, 178 – 206. [pdf]


Flexas, A.; Rosselló, J.; Christensen, J.F.; Nadal, M.; Olivera La Rosa, A. & Munar, E. (2013). Affective priming using facial expressions modulates liking for abstract art. PLoS ONE, 8(11): e80154. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0080154. [html]

Nadal, M. (2013). The experience of art: Insights from neuroimaging. Progress in Brain Research, 204, 135-158. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-444-63287-6.00007-5. [pdf]

Vartanian, O., Navarrete, G., Chatterjee, A., Fich, L. B., Leder, H., Modrono, C., Nadal, M., Rostrup, N., & Skov, M. (2013). Impact of contour on aesthetic judgments and approach-avoidance decisions in architecture. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 110 Suppl 2, 10446-10453. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1301227110. [pdf]

Pang, C. Y.; Nadal, M.; Müller, J. S.; Rosenberg, R. & Klein, C. (2013). Electrophysiological correlates of looking at paintings and its association with art expertise. Biological Psychology, 93, 246–254. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2012.10.013. [pdf]

Nadal, M. & Skov, M. (2013) Introduction to the Special Issue: Toward an Interdisciplinary Neuroaesthetics. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 7, 1-12, doi: 10.1037/a0031842. [pdf]

Zaidel, D.; Nadal, M.; Flexas, A. & Munar, E. (2013). An Evolutionary Approach to Art and Aesthetic Experience. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 7, 100-109, doi: 10.1037/a0028797. [pdf]


Munar, E.; Nadal, M.; Rosselló, J.; Flexas, A.; Moratti, M.; Maestú, F.; Marty, G.; Cela-Conde, C.J. (2012). Lateral Orbitofrontal Cortex Involvement in Initial Negative Aesthetic Impression Formation. PLoS ONE, 7, e38152. [pdf]

Nadal, M.; Flexas, A.; Gálvez, A.; Cela-Conde, C.J. (2012). Neuroaesthetics: Themes from the past, current issues, and challenges for the future. Rendiconti Lincei-Scienze Fisiche e Naturali, 23, 247-258. [pdf]

Cela-Conde, C. J. & Nadal, M. (2012).Taxonomical uses of the species concept in the human lineage. Human Origins Research, 2, e1, doi:10.4081hor.2012.e2. [pdf]

Munar E.; Nadal, M.; Castellanos, N.P.; Flexas, A.; Maestú, F.; Mirasso, C. & Cela-Conde, C.J. (2012). Aesthetic appreciation: event-related field and time-frequency analyses. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 5:185. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2011.00185. [pdf]


Zaidel, D. W., & Nadal, M. (2011). Brain intersections of aesthetics and morals: Perspectives from biology, neuroscience, and evolution. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, 54, 367-380. [pdf]

Nadal, M. & Pearce, M.T. (2011). The Copenhagen Neuroaesthetics Conference: Prospects and Pitfalls for an Emerging Field. Brain and Cognition, 76, 172–183. [pdf]

Cela-Conde, C. J.; Agnati, L.; Mora, F.; Huston, J. P. & Nadal, M. (2011). The neural foundations of aesthetic appreciation. Progress in Neurobiology, 94, 39–48. [pdf]

Forsythe, A.; Nadal, M.; Sheehy, N.; Cela-Conde, C.J. & Sawey, M. (2011). Predicting beauty: Fractal dimension and visual complexity in art. British Journal of Psychology, 102, 49-70. [pdf]

2010 and earlier

Nadal, M.; Munar, E.; Marty, G. & Cela-Conde, C.J. (2010). Visual complexity and beauty appreciation. Explaining the diverging of results. Empirical Studies of the Arts, 28, 173-191. [pdf]

Cela-Conde, C.J.; Burges, L.; Nadal, M. & Olivera, A. (2010). Altruism and fairness: Unnatural selection? Comptes Rendus Biologies, 333, 174-180.

Nadal, M.; Barceló-Coblijn, L.; Olivera, A.; Christensen, J.; Rincón-Ruíz, C. & Cela-Conde, C.J. (2009). Darwin’s legacy: A comparative approach to the evolution of human derived cognitive traits. Ludus Vitalis, 32, 145-172. [pdf]

Cela-Conde, C.J.; Maestú, F.; Mirasso, C.; Munar, E. & Nadal, M. (2009). Can fMRI Alone Identify Functional Connectivity in the Brain? Science E-letter. [html]

Cela-Conde, C.J.; Ayala, F.J.; Munar, E.; Maestú, F.; Nadal, M.; Capó, M.A.; del Río, D.; López-Ibor, J.J.; Ortiz, T.; Mirasso, C. & Marty, G. (2009). Sex-related similarities and differences in the neural correlates of beauty. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 106, 3847-3852. [pdf]

Nadal, M.; Capó, M.A.; Munar, E. & Cela-Conde, C.J. (2009). La evolución de la apreciación estética. Estudios de Psicología, 30, 3-20.

Munar, E.; Nadal, M.; Rosselló, J. & Maestú, F. (2008). Aesthetic Perception Registered by means of Magnetoencephalography. The Spanish Journal of Psychology, 10, 494-494.

Nadal, M.; Munar, E.; Capó, M.A.; Rosselló, J. & Cela-Conde, C.J. (2008). Towards a framework for the study of the neural correlates of aesthetic preference. Spatial Vision, 21, 379-396. [pdf]

Roca, M. A.; Martín-Santos, R.; Saiz, J.; Obiols, J.; Serrano, M.J.; Torrens, M.; Subirà, M.; Gili, M.; Navinés, R.; Ibáñez, A.; Nadal, M.; Barrantes, N. & Cañellas, F. (2007). Diagnostic Interview for Genetic Studies (DIGS): Inter-rater and test-retest reliability and validity in Spanish population. European Psychiatry, 22, 44-48.

Tomàs C.; Cañellas, F.; Rodriguez, V.; Picornell, A.; Lafau, O.; Nadal, M.; Roca, M.; Serrano, M.J.; Castro, J.A. & Ramon, M.M. (2006). Genetic linkage study for Bipolar disorders on chromosomes 17 and 18 in families with a high expression of mental illness from the Balearic Islands. Psychiatric Genetics, 16, 145-151. [pdf]

Nadal, M.; Capó, M.A. & Cela-Conde, C.J. (2006). El papel de la teoría evolutiva en la antropología. Evolución, 1, 43-46.

Nadal, M.; Marty, G. & Munar, E. (2006). The search for objective measures of aesthetic judgment: The case of memory traces. Empirical Studies of the Arts, 24, 95-106. [pdf]

Nadal, M.; Amengual-Bunyola, G.A.; Ramis, C.; Capó, M. & Cela Conde, C.J. (2006). Recent genetic contributions to the study of language. Ludus Vitalis, 14, 187-204.

Capó, M.; Nadal, M. & Cela Conde, C.J. (2006). Moral Consilience. Biological Theory, 1, 133-135.

Capó, M.A.; Nadal, M.; Ramos, C.; Fernández, A. & Cela Conde, C.J. (2006). Neuroética. Derecho y Neurociencia. Ludus Vitalis, 25, 163-176.

Fernández, A.; Marty, G.; Nadal, M.; Capó, M.A. & Cela-Conde, C.J. (2005). Derecho y neurociencia. Ludus Vitalis, 23, 131-138.

Maestú, F.; González-Marqués, J.; Marty, G.; Nadal, M.; Cela Conde, C. J. & Ortiz, T. (2005). La Magnetoencefalografía: una nueva herramienta para el estudio de los procesos cognitivos básicos. Psicothema, 17, 459-464.

Marty, G.; Munar, E. & Nadal, M. (2005). Familiaridad y evaluación de estímulos estéticos en función de la educación artística. Psicothema, 17, 319-324.

Nadal-Roberts, M & Collard, M. (2005). Impact of Methodological Choices on Assessments of the Reliability of Fossil Primate Phylogenetic Hypotheses. Folia Primatologica, 76, 207-221.

Cela-Conde, C.J.; Marty, G.; Munar, E.; Nadal, M. & Burges, L. (2002). The ‘Style Scheme’ grounds perception of paintings. Perceptual and Motors Skills, 95, 91-100. [pdf].

Books and book chapters:


Huston, J. P.; Nadal, M.; Mora, F.; Agnati, L. F. & Cela-Conde, C. J. (Eds.) (2015). Art, Aesthetics and the Brain. Oxford: Oxford University Press. [OUP]

Leder, H. & Nadal, M. (in press). Perception and art. In H. L. Miller (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Theory in Psychology. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Nadal, M. & Skov, M. (2015). Neuroesthetics. In J. D. Wright (editor-in-chief.) International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences (Second Edition), Vol16. Oxford: Elsevier. (pp. 656–663). [html] [pdf]

Nadal, M. & Gómez-Puerto, G. (2014). Evolutionary approaches to art and aesthetics. In P. P. L. Tinio & J. K. Smith (Eds): The Cambridge handbook of the psychology of aesthetics and the arts. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (pp. 167-194). [pdf]

Nadal, M.; Gomila, A. & Gàlvez-Pol, A. (2014). A history for neuroaesthetics. In J. O. Lauring (Ed): An introduction to neuroaesthetics: The neuroscientific approach to aesthetic experience, artistic creativity, and arts appreciation. Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press. (pp. 3-49). [pdf]

Nadal, M. (2014). Neuroaesthetics: Brain, beauty and art. In Forum Gulbenkian de Saúde 2012. Lisbon: Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian. (pp. 71-93).

Nadal, M.; Flexas, A. (2012). Bases biológicas de la creatividad. El enfoque desde la neuroestética. In: Perote Alejandre (Coord.): Creatividad y neurociencia cognitiva. Madrid: Instituto Tomás Pascual Sanz.

Burges, L.; Cela-Conde, C.J.; Nadal, M. (2012). Altruism and sexual selection. In F. de Sousa & G. Munévar (Eds.): Sex, reproduction and Darwinism. London: Pickering & Chatto. (pp. 127-140).

Munar, E.; Nadal, M. (2011). Cerebral clues on the evolution of aesthetic appreciation. In: J. Martínez Contreras & A. Ponce de León (Eds.) Darwin’s Evolving Legacy. México: Siglo XXI.

Nadal, M.; Flexas, A.; Cela-Conde, C. J. (2010). La capacidad para la apreciación estética: una evolución en mosaico. In A. Martín Araguz (Ed.): Neuroestética. Madrid: Saned SA Ediciones (pp. 15-28). [pdf]

Nadal, M.; Capó, M. A.; Munar, E.; Marty, G. & Cela Conde, C.J. (2009). Constraining hypotheses on the evolution of art and aesthetic appreciation. In M. Skov & O. Vartanian (Eds): Neuroaesthetics. Amityville, NY: Baywood Publishing (pp. 103-129). [pdf]

Nadal, M.; Capó, M.; Peters, A. & Cela-Conde, C.J. (2009). The Mosaic Evolution of Aesthetic Preference. In H. Høgh-Olesen, J. Tønnesvang & P. Bertelsen (Eds): Human Characteristics: Evolutionary Perspectives on Human Mind and Kind. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing (pp. 17-43).

Munar, E.; Rosselló, J.; Cela-Conde, C.J.; Marty, G. & Nadal, M. (2008). Modelos teóricos y neurociencia cognitiva de la percepción. In F. Maestú Unturbe, M. Ríos Lago & R. Cabestrero Alonso (Eds): Neuroimagen. Técnicas y procesos cognitivos. Barcelona: Masson-Elsevier (pp. 317-348).

Munar, E.; Rosselló, J.; Maiche, A.; Travieso, D. & Nadal, M. (2008). Modelos teóricos y neurociencia cognitiva de la percepción. In J. Tirapu Ustárrroz, M. Rios Lago & F. Maestú Unturbe (Eds): Manual de Neuropsicología. Barcelona: Viguera Editores (pp. 57-95).

Cela Conde, C.J.; Ramos, C.; Fernández, A. & Nadal, M. (2008). ¿Por qué razón hay que conservar las especies? In J. Mayol y C. Viada (Eds.): El rumbo del Arca. Palma: Conselleria de Medi Ambient del Govern de les Illes Balears (pp. 45-50).

Cela-Conde, C.J.; Capó, M.A.; Nadal, M.; Gual, J.; Fernández, M. & Ramos, C. (2007). De homínido a humano. In L. Feito (Ed.): Nuevas perspectivas científicas y filosóficas sobre el ser humano. Madrid: Universidad Pontificia de Comillas (pp. 67-92).

Ayala, F.J.; Capó, M.A.; Cela Conde, C.J. & Nadal, M. (2007). Can genetics throw some light on the evolution of the human li neage? In A. Fagot-Largeault, J.M. Torres, S. Rahman (Eds.): The Influence of Genetics on Contemporary Thinking. Dordrecht: Springer (pp. 3-23).

Vartanian, O. & Nadal, M. (2007). A biological approach to a model of aesthetic experience. In L. Dorfman, C. Martindale & V. Petrov (Eds.): Aesthetics and Innovation. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing (pp. 429-444). [pdf]

Cela-Conde, C.J; Capó, M.; Nadal, M. & Ramos, C. (2007). What Do We Know of the Social Brain? In O. Vilarroya & F. Forn (Eds): Social Brain Matters. Amsterdam/New York: Rodopi Verlag (pp. 201-214). ISBN: 10 1-4020-5663X.

Cela Conde, C. J. & Nadal, M. (2007). L’origen de les facultats mentals humanes. In Museu de Ciències Naturals (Ed): Orígens. Univers, Terra, Vida, Humanitat. Barcelona: Museu de Ciències Naturals – Ajuntament de Barcelona (pp.138-147). ISBN: 84-7609-362-4.

Cela-Conde, C.J.; López, C.; Nadal, M.; Capó, M.A.; Corés, A.; Mascaró, A. & Marty, G. (2006). Creativity and Evolution. In T.G. Bromage, A. Vidal, E. Aguirre & A. Perez-Ochoa (2006). International Congress Series 1296: Integrative Approaches to Human Health and Evolution. Amsterdam: Elsevier Publishers Limited (pp. 95-105). ISBN: 978-0444528605.

Cela-Conde, C.J.; Marty, G.; Nadal, M.; Capó, M.A.; López, C. & Fernández, A. (2005). Gramática generativa y mente. In L.F. Vila-Pillado & R.M. Area Carracedo (Comps.): O saber holístico. Homenaxe ó Profesor Rof Carballo. Vigo: Asociación Galega de Saúde Mental (pp. 105-118). ISBN: 84-935033-2-0.

Cela-Conde, C. J.; Fernández, A.; Nadal, M.; Capó, M. A. & Ramis, C. (2005). La evolución de la inteligencia humana: ¿una búsqueda imposible? In F. Guillén-Salazar (Ed.), Existo, luego pienso. Los primates y la evolución de la inteligencia humana. Madrid: Ateles (pp. 253-266). ISBN: 84-932659-9-3.

Cela Conde, C.J.; Nadal, M.; Capó, M. A.; Ramis, C. & Fernández, A. (2004). Sobre la evolución de la mente. In J. Sanjuán & C.J. Cela-Conde (Eds.): La profecía de Darwin. Del origen de la mente a la Psicopatología. Barcelona: Ars Medica (pp. 25-36). ISBN: 84-9751-090-9.

Human Evolution and Cognition Research Group