Evidence has shown time and time again that fine art is very beneficial to the educational process. The systems that art nourishes, including the sensory, attentional, emotional, cognitive and motor capacities are in fact the driving forces behind all kinds of learning. The notion of how art and the brain are connected has also been explored by Judith Burton, who is a professor at Columbia University. She has revealed that subjects, such as science, language and math require complex and cognitive capacities, that are typically developed through the learning of art.
Art has the Ability To Change Your Consciousness
When you observe a piece of art that is profound, you will fire the same neurons that the artist did when they created it. This helps to form even more neurological pathways and it also helps to stimulate inspiration. The sense that concludes being drawn into a painting is called embodied cognition, and it can bring about a profound personal change that can only be delivered through the love of art.
More Active Pleasure Receptors
Robert Mendick in 2011 reported on an experiment, which was carried out by Semir Zeki at the University of London. He wanted to explore what happened in the brain when someone looks at a beautiful painting. The experiment concluded that when you look at any piece of art, whether it is portrait, landscape or even still life, there is strong activity in the pleasure part of the brain. Participants underwent various brain scans and when they viewed art that they perceived to be beautiful, they had an increased level of brain activity. Some people reported increases in the brain by over 10%. This is the equivalent of activity of someone staring at a loved one. The most powerful responses were brought around by artists such as Ingres, Monet and even Constable.
Awe and Beauty Healing
The awe and wonder that you experience comes down to the level of cytokines in the brain. We often do things to try and trigger this reaction, such as walking in nature, beholding art or even losing yourself in music. This has a major impact on your life expectancy as well. Scientists have even reported that viewing creative work can ward off disease in some instances. Awe has a huge impact on your wellbeing, experiencing awe can give you a great sense of hope, not to mention that it can also provide you with feelings of fulfilment.
Researchers have established that those who become artists tend to suffer less feelings of loneliness as well as having less depressive symptoms. Mature artists are also higher functioning members of society, and they are more likely to do volunteer work when compared to others. Art-making and creative collaboration can also bring about strong benefits, helping to ensure that you are stronger and healthier overall while also promoting your sense of wellbeing and care towards others.
So there are many profound changes that happen as the result of either creating art or viewing it. Some of the changes are physical, others mental, but all provide a strong emotional connection.