When You See Art, it May Help Your Brain

March 11, 2019

The Scholar is an original oil painting by Debra Keirce.

By Chelsea Reed

Art has been right there with humans since the beginning of time. From cave walls to fresco to digital media, we always found new ways to enjoy art. Through art, we express the creative ideas and concepts we see as intelligent beings. Indeed, humans have a remarkable knack for achieving advancements that improve lives. Yet the myth of art not being important like math or science lurked in the background for centuries.

The good news is that research dispelling this myth is coming to light. Plenty of sound evidence reveals that art is in fact as essential to learn in society as science and math. Art offers many benefits that bolster us on personal and public levels. This blog is the beginning part of a series that dives into the different ways art can do this. One awesome example is that art can stimulate healthy brain function. This is true for both creating and looking at art!

The Art-Brain Connection

Have you seen a face when you glanced at a car, an electric outlet, or the front of a house? You’re not alone. Our brains have the amazing capability to make sense of incomplete information. This means your brain will identify faces and other patterns with everything you see. The same stimulating effect is true with art.

High Sonora is an original oil painting by Clifford BaileyEach time you look at art, your brain organizes information. But it does so much more! Your brain also creates embodied cognition. In other words, we want to place ourselves into the scene of the artwork. Doing this allows mirror neurons in your brain to register the same feelings as if the scene was real. Concentrate on a painting of a desert long enough, and you might feel hot. Observing a drawing of someone happy or grieving can make you feel sadness, pleasure, and so on.

This remarkable ability to “put yourself in their shoes” heightens appreciation of art. Embodied cognition of art may also help improve empathy, mood, and emotional intelligence.

How to Make the Most of "Art Smarts"

Getting into the brain-boosting benefits of art is as simple as gazing a painting. You can also take part by making your own art. Any pencil or brush will do! Get inspiration from a topic you love, by taking a walk outdoors, or having fun creating with others in a group. There is no wrong answer when it comes to enjoying art’s health benefits. And the rewards are the same for all ages!

A Haven for Original Art

Looking for a quick art brain boost? Browse through our original art collections at Seaside Art Gallery! We are the largest private art gallery in the Southeast. There is always something new that arrives here. You are also welcome to check out our art in person. See you there!

Chelsea Reed is a freelance copywriter. She writes articles, blogs, websites and online content from her base in North Carolina.





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