Interesting article about art and the human brain

Hello everyone,

This week I thought I’d share an interesting article I came across a while back. This article is called ‘Study Says Making Art Is Good For Your Brain, And We Say You Should Listen’ and was published on Huffington Post. As the title suggests, it’s all about how creating works of art can actually improve your mental faculties. As an artist myself, this is something that I find really interesting.

The article is focused on a study that was carried out in Germany and had a small group of recently retired elderly people as participants. The whole point of the study was to see whether creating art would have a positive effect on the participants’ brains. What this study showed was that creating art could slow down or even completely stop the decline of a number of brain functions due to old age. In other words, creating art gives the brain the exercise it needs so it doesn’t start rotting away, so to speak. The brain is like a car: you have to keep it in the best condition, otherwise it isn’t going to work as best as it can. Creating art is one way of keeping the brain fuelled.

I find the set-up of the study really interesting. There were 28 participants in total – these were split into two groups of 14. The study lasted for 10 weeks and for the duration of the study, one group attended a weekly two-hour practical art class, while the other group attended a weekly art appreciation course. Scientists scanned the participants’ brains before and after the study. It was found that the people who had taken part in the practical art class showed a significant improvement in psychological resilience and had more functional connectivity. The results from the art appreciation group weren’t as promising.

I know the study was quite small and was carried out on people of a certain age group, but the results are still promising. People have always said that being creative is good for you, so it’s encouraging to see scientific evidence showing that creativity can have a positive effect on the brain.

Here’s the article if you’re interested in reading it:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/08/how-art-changes-your-brain_n_5567050.html

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The human brain

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