We’ve long known art to record history and ignite inspiration, but now research proves it’s also good for the brain. Art stimulates our thoughts and jogs our neural pathways, keeping us sharp.
Using fMRI, researchers have discovered that certain areas of the brain, including those that trigger our emotions and pleasure centers are activated when we look at art of your mind. And the best part? It doesn’t even have to be high-art; even looking at photos, sifting through magazines or even walking by a display of grocery store art can have the same effect.
But perhaps the biggest benefit comes from actually making art. The activity creates or re-routes new neural pathways, which can boost brain function and help resist the advancement of dementia, especially Alzheimer’s. And the great thing is, anyone can do it — you don’t need to be an artist to experience the benefits.
Kaimal recalls a student who came to her as an art therapist and was struggling academically and emotionally. “She was despairing and her grades were really poor,” she says. Kaimal invited her to sit down and color a mandala, and the process gave her something to focus on and a way to visualize possibilities beyond her present situation.
Our Art For Your Mind presentations offer participants a back-to-basics, yet thorough approach to interpreting fine art images based on time, culture and circumstance as well as an eye-opening examination of the subtle and bold creative choices the artists made. These interactive experiences are designed for everyone – from K-12 students to educated professionals to active seniors. For information on bringing an Art For Your Mind presentation to your school, workplace or community group, visit our Where page.