"Many works of art deliberately challenge our understanding of the world... ...the writing of Franz Kafka and the humour of Monty Python, to name but a few. All feature illogical and incongruous elements and the uncanny juxtaposed with the familiar.
Clues to the appeal of this kind of art come from recent work by psychologists, who are beginning to understand the strange effects it can have on the brain. According to research on the ‘meaning maintenance model’ of human reasoning, surreal and absurd art can be so unsettling that the brain reacts as if it is feeling physical pain, yet it ultimately leads us to reaffirm who we are, and sharpens the mind as we look for new ways to make sense of the world. The findings also suggest new ways to improve education, and even help to explain our responses to some of the more absurd political events of recent years."