The pleasure of art to our brain

Eight human figures hunting on the rock. This is, so far, the work of art oldest known. It is dated in at least 43.900 years ago. By that time, Upper Paleolithi

The pleasure of art to our brain

Eight human figures hunting on the rock. This is, so far, the work of art oldest known. It is dated in at least 43.900 years ago. By that time, Upper Paleolithic, Homo sapiens was spreading across Europe and left hundreds of statuettes with a human form carved in bone or wood or sculpted in clay. Art is an essential part of being human in a way still mysterious and fascinating to those looking for its base and biological sense. Why and how the brain creates, processes, and understands the art? For centuries there have been many philosophical reflections and scientific approach; now the neuroestética tries to solve the riddle.


Get the collection, 'This is art'

Although studies on neuroestética are previous, it was not until 2002 that the term was adopted officially. This discipline investigates the interaction between the observation of an art object, and the mechanisms and brain networks that influence the emotional response at the same. “Beauty is a manifestation of the high organization of our neuronal system and would not exist without the contest of our brain,” explains dr. Juan Carlos Portilla, a member of the Spanish Society of Neurology. The expert lists that are multiple brain areas interacting during the artistic experience. In the first place, when you look at a painting or listening to a song, it produces a sensory response and motor. In the process involved also the knowledge and the meaning, which depend on the experience, the context and culture of each individual. Finally, comes the emotion and the assessment, subject to the reward system that involves the pleasure.

The tools that he uses neuroscience to analyze these situations are primarily the neurophysiology and neuroimaging, especially functional, one that allows you to see the spectacle of the brain working live. Hatch details on the existing studies it has been observed how the areas associated with reward and pleasure are activated as a response to a stimulus to artistic, being able to vary the circuits that implement those areas depending on the type sensory: visual, auditory, etc. That is to say, our brain enjoys to paint beautiful just as before a plate of delicious food.

This fact brings about consequences. “There is increasing evidence of the physical benefits and general state of health that is associated with the perception and the creative processes of artistic, there are even projects that evaluate in a concrete way with these benefits,” said the neurologist. Thus, some studies are linking the artistic practice with the development of a greater brain plasticity, in addition to the psychological benefits. For these reasons, art is used as complementary therapy in numerous ailments: the music in the ad or the visual arts to control the anxiety.

The artistic experience produces a “wellness” on the person, whether creator or just a viewer, a gain that Hatch, he adds, you can't distinguish the cultural aspects: “While there are some common mechanisms of brain response to an art object, cultural influence and the individual's relationship with the observed object are determinants”.

The benefits are multiplied when we talk about children. “Taking into account the complex brain mechanisms that come up during the creative process, encouraging participation in the development of these processes facilitates improved brain function and better development of connectivity between the different areas and functions of the brain involved. Functions such as attention, memory, ability, visuospatial, etc. are directly associated to the processes of artistic creation,” lists the neurologist.

art Education

know Chema Messiah, teacher and author of the book Artistic Education Sensitive. His speech makes the teaching of art in schools, but says that “if the approach is bad, tedious for the students”, better to do without it. Messiah has devised a system for schools that is committed to “practical proximity” based on three points: contemporary art, the classroom as a laboratory and “artists to people”.

expand photo Students of Messiah developed igloos with plastic bags, an installation around climate change showed that in the plaza de Maria Pita in A Coruña.

“The children are living today, their environment, for them it is more natural to the contemporary art than the classic, comes to him without prejudice,” explains the professor, her first foundation. Attracted by novelty, Messiah instills in them the normalization of failure in the process of experimentation. The class is a safe environment for trial and error. “We try in addition to bring any young artist, to break the conception of genius consecrated, we invite you to inhabit the space, they can live together and develop projects with the teachers and the students,” he shoots. He insists that this is not about artists-in-residence -“because that may imply that you just sleep in a space” - but that they must establish collaborative projects with students and teachers.

This project manages to create a link between the children and the art that endures over time thanks to an aesthetic experience intense. It is at this point that children “assimilate” the art in your life, and “the teaching worth it.” The teacher clarifies that this is not about creating artists, but of working a different language that allows them to express themselves, without reducing it to sentimentality: “Develop an aesthetic sensibility, and this activates a diverse way of seeing life, to put ourselves in the place of another and to be open to places, individuals and cultures generated by people who are critical and socially committed”.

Updated Date: 12 January 2020, 23:00



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