Friday, 18 April 2014

Artists Brains

A recent study has found that artists have structurally different brains compared with non-artists. Researchers scanned the brains of 21 art students and 23 non-artists, using a scanning method called voxel-based morphometry. Although the samples of the populations are small, the findings are statistically significant (i.e. not produced by chance alone). The subjects were tested on their ability to draw. Increased grey and white matter were found in the art group in both left and right hemispheres in areas involved with fine motor control and performance of routine actions, enabling enhanced processing (CLICK). What does all this mean? Put simply, my guess is that it demonstrates the old adage "Practise makes perfect". The more you draw, the more connections you build up in your brain. Interesting, but it reveals nothing about creativity.


At 18/4/14, Anonymous Kris said...

There was a TV programme a few years ago. They tracked people's eye movements while they tries to make a portrait drawing. They then played back a record of where they had looked. It showed that as the proficiency improved then people made fewer, and more precise, looks at the subject.

The brain remains plastic even into old age. Any new motor skill acquires an improved unconscious dexterity with practice.

At 19/4/14, Blogger Ian Cox said...

Hi, Kris

I missed that TV programme. Sounds interesting. Did you see The People's Portrait recently? It was fascinating watching the artist paint. Fits in with the TV programme findings.

Plastic indeed. There have been numerous cases of non-fatal stroke victims bypassing the damaged areas of brain to relearn skills using other parts of the brain. The sooner these patients receive therapy, the quicker they relearn lost skills.

Happy Easter.


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