Artist Brain Explained by Science
We always know a slightly different artist.
They think, speak, and work differently from all of us. Most of them even dress differently.
It is not surprising that recent scientific studies show that the brains of artists differed specifically from other populations.
Dr. Rebecca Chamberlain from the University of KU Leuven in Belgium has noticed that most visual artists describe “seeing” their work in their heads before they put pen to paper or brush onto canvas.
He suspects there is a fundamental difference in the brains of the artists. So he did what a self-respecting scientist would do: he led an experiment to find out.
In the study, researchers have 21 art students and 23 non-artists complete a number of tasks. During each task, they scan their brains through a process called voxel-based morphometry.
Voxel-based morphometry is a neuroimaging technique that allows scientists to identify differences in brain structure among individuals. Artist Brain Explained by Science
And through this experiment, Dr. Chamberlain made several important discoveries.
Brain scans show that the brains of the artists have some distinctive differences.
In particular, they have more gray matter in the parietal lobes. Particularly in structures called precuneus.
The parietal lobes process information from the senses. This area is responsible for our visual and spatial reasoning.
According to research, individuals with more advanced visual reasoning are better at making images in their heads.
This shows that before painters even put their black velvet brush into paint, their painting is already in the parietal lobes. This inner picture guides the artist in ways that nonartists can not imitate.
Nature or parenting?
This finding raises important questions. Are artists better drawing because they have an enlarged precuneus? Or do their precuneus increase in size after years of practice?
Certainly, our habits can change our brain structure from time to time. Just like with our muscles, our brain changes with exercise.
Dr. Chamberlain stated, “This is in line with evidence that focus of expertise really changes the brain.” The brain is very flexible in responding to training and there are huge individual differences that we just started entering. ”
But is it possible that artists have enlarged parietal lobes before they start sharpening their skills? Do certain people by nature tend to be artists?
Determining this will require longer research with larger sample sizes.
Scientists need to study the subject before they start practicing their artistic skills. The study will then follow them through all of their training, comparing their brain structure changes with non-artists.
Such studies will take decades and are unlikely to attract much interest in the way they are funded.
Right side myth
For a long time, a general understanding of the structure of the brain is that the left hemisphere is more analytical and the right side more creative. Therefore, a more creative person has a more dominant right hemisphere.
However, according to this study, artists have improved the gray matter on both sides of their brains. This is an important blow to the myth of right-brain dominance.
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