Art Can Stimulate the Same Areas of the Brain as Meditation

Art Can Stimulate the Same Areas of the Brain as Meditation

The written content of the post was authored by best-selling author and neuroscience expert, Mark Robert Waldman. It is posted with his permission.


Neuroaesthetics is a new field concerned with the neural underpinnings of beauty and aesthetics, especially in visual art.

A recent study found that the brain perceives paintings by artists such as Cezanne and Monet as more beautiful than photographic representations of the same subject. Studies show that the same areas stimulated by meditation and mindfulness (the insula and anterior cingulate) are stimulated when we think a work of art is beautiful. 

Neuroscience expert Mark Waldman hypothesizes that the more you gaze at a painting that intrigues you, the more enter a contemplative state similar to spiritual practice.

Conclusion: Surrounding yourself with beautiful images stimulates a spiritual sense of well-being, calming the negative emotional circuits in your brain.

Study:

Front Hum Neurosci. 2014; 8: 478.
Difference in brain activations during appreciating paintings and photographic analogs
Yoshinori Mizokami, et.al.


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