In the same TED talk, a researcher asked people all over the globe a series of questions about their preferences in art. If they could choose, what would be in the picture? Again, the results were startlingly universal. They would want a body of water, even if it were in the distance. They would want, somewhere in the foreground, a meadow or grassland and some evidence of wildlife, if nothing more than birds. They would want copses of trees, especially those that fork at the bottom, a big sky, and strangely enough, a path extending out toward the horizon.
In other words, as philosopher Dennis Dutton put in on the show, “a kind of Hudson River landscape,” even within cultures that do not have such geography.