Saturday, September 24, 2011

Art is good for your brain

Found this on, well... on some website somewhere, so, you know, it must be true...
A recent study in neuroaesthetics conducted by Professor Semir Zeki of England, gives scientific validity to an idea which artists have subscribed to for centuries: looking at beautiful art creates as much delight as being in love. In a series of pioneering brain-mapping experiments, Zeki, a Professor of Neurobiology and the Chair of Neuroaesthetics at University College London, concluded that viewing beautiful art releases a surge of the neurotransmitter dopamine into the orbito-frontal cortex of the brain, stimulating the same 'feel-good' centers of the brain as are affected by romantic love. "What we found," said Zeki, "is when you look at art - whether it is a landscape, a still life, an abstract, or a portrait - there is strong activity in that part of the brain related to pleasure."

1 comment:

Martial Artist said...

Sooooo.... If I don't get that dopamine release when looking at certain forms of art (e.g., Rothko, the new JPII statue in Rome, Picasso, Chagall, and similar), but I do experience it with more classical works (Michelangelo, DaVinci, Bierstadt) my lack of positive reaction to the ugly stuff is not just a personal idiosyncracy, but an objectively valid assessment of the quality of what I am viewing?

I think I can live happily with that inference.

Pax et bonum,
Keith Töpfer