CAN VIEWING ART IMPROVE MY BRAIN FUNCTION?
Yes! It most definitely can. Viewing art is good for your health. Do you want to enhance your brain function and feel good doing it? Then take a walk through an Art gallery, like Hillsborough Gallery of Arts, Art museum or Crafts Fair. It not only lifts your spirits, viewing art can stimulate the creation of new neural pathways and ways of thinking.
“Each time you look at a piece of art, your brain is working to make sense of the visual information it’s receiving. From highly lifelike portraits to abstract collections of rectangles, looking at art stimulates the brain and puts our innate knack for organizing patterns and making sense of shapes to use.” University of Arizona Global Campus
Take for example a portrait of a person, or boat, etc. It is not a person or boat, but the brain has the skill of making sense of what we’re seeing and allows us to identify it as such. The brain goes through changes when looking at a beautiful artwork. To prove the point, an experiment conducted during a student museum visit. It showed through brain scans an increase in blood flow to the brain by as much as 10% that triggers a surge of dopamine (the neurotransmitter — your body’s natural antidepressant and associated with feelings of happiness and well-being) in the same areas of the brain that registers romantic love. It’s the the equivalent of looking at someone you love. Surveys conducted after the trip showed that even just an hour’s trip to the museum indicated signs of improved critical thinking skills among students, exhibiting empathy, and expressed tolerance towards others different from them.
Considering this, it seems ART classes should definitely not be a class to cut, but, in fact, it should be a required course.
Looking at art isn’t just about making sense of the shapes. When we look at a piece of art, be it a painting, sculpture, furniture, textile, we place ourselves into the artwork. Putting ourselves in the art is when our brain turns things like action, movement, and energy you see in art into actual emotions you can feel. Our cognition is influenced by our experiences in the physical world. The more you study the artwork, the more you put yourself within the scene and can actually feel or relate to the work. Say for instance, you look at a painting by Jackson Pollock. You may feel like you are flinging that paint. Or maybe you are viewing a picture of the ocean. You may feel the sand beneath your feet, the smell of the salt, call of the gulls, and the sound of ocean waves. When you begin to relate to the artwork, you’re more able to appreciate it even more. It may then bring memories and feelings of joy.
So TAKE A WALK THROUGH AN ART GALLERY and lift your spirits.
~ Jude Lobe