8 Reasons Why Art Improves Your Thinking

Art is often undervalued in society when, in fact, it has amazing benefits for our brains and well being. From creativity to sharpness of thought — art can maximize your ability to decipher and react to the world around you.

8 Reasons Why Art Improves Your Thinking

Infographic Credit: zippi.co.uk

Infographic Summary: 8 reasons why art improves your thinking

“Beauty is truth, truth beauty.” – John Keats

Since Plato, the beauty found in art has been synonymous with expanding the intellect. But can art have a tangible effect on improving the human mind? Thanks to modern science, the positive benefits of art on the brain can now be measured.

1. It heightens brain activity

An experiment involving 14 art viewers and a fake Rembrandt showed that scrutinising the value of artwork heightens activity in regions of the brain associated with reward.

According to: Dana Foundation

2. It exercises our survival instinct

Viewing art makes the “fight or flight: part of our brains more responsive to depictions of fear — an impulse that warned our ancestors of threats.

According to: Paris Descartes University, University of Geneva

3. It develops core skills

Practicing executive function activities such as drawing has been shown to significantly improve reasoning and teamwork skills for children aged 3-5.

According to: Center on the Developing Child, Harvard; PLOS ONE

4. It enhances well being

Studies suggest that visual arts therapy reduces mental distress in patients. They also indicate that art has significant positive health effects in aiding recovery.

According to: HL Stuckey, DEd and J Nobel, MD

5. It makes you more attentive

5 days of artistic activities, for 30 minutes a day, showed significant increases in motivation and attention span among children aged 4-6.

According to: Dana Foundation

6. It helps you see the world differently

Scans of 44 artists’ brains show that portions of them are more developed, particularly those parts responsible for fine motor performance and procedural memory.

According to: NeuroImage

7. It increases your creativity

Based on studies of almost 1,500 students, integrating visual and imagined imagery into different learning tasks is shown to increase creativity in discussions, modelling and assessment.

According to: David Sousa, AASA

8. It helps us find meaning

Works of art often contain visual clues and illusions to evoke particular responses, tricking our brains into finding meaning in the arbitrary. Art speaks to something primal within us, tapping into our imagination and firing our creative impulses. And best of all, doing it and viewing it is proven to make us better, more considerate thinkers.

According to: Paris Descartes University, University of Geneva

Sources

Blair C., Raver, C. 2014. Closing the achievement gap through modification of neurocognitive and neuroendocrine function: results from a cluster randomized controlled trial of an innovative approach to the education of children in kindergarten. PlOS One, 9. plosone.org

Center on the Developing Child. Executive function. developingchild.harvard.edu

Chamberlain, R. et al. 2014. Drawing on the right side of the brain: a voxel-based morphometry analysis of observational drawing. Neurolmage, 96. sciencedirect.com

Huang, M. et al. 2011. Human cortical activity evoked by the assignment of authenticity when viewing works of art. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 134. journal.frontiersin.org

Hogenboom, M. (2014). Artists have structurally different brains. bbc.co.uk

Landau, E. (2012). What the brain draws from: art and neuroscience. edition.cnn.com

Posner, M. (2009). How arts training improves attention and cognition. dana.org

Sousa, D. (2006). How the arts develop the young brain. aasa.org

Stuckey, H.L. and Nobel, J. 2010. The connection between art, healing, and public health: a review of current literature. American Journal of Public Health, 100. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

238 comments

Fi T.
Past Member 2 years ago

Music plays the same role

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Christine Jones
Christine J2 years ago

This is good news. My walls are covered with art and I love it.

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Paulinha Russell
Paulinha Russell2 years ago

Thanks

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MJ J.
Past Member 2 years ago

ty

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Margaret F.
Marge F2 years ago

Thank you for posting this interesting article.

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Inari T.
Inari T2 years ago

Interesting - I think the practice of art/craft must be good for stretching the thinking of those of us who work in fields requiring mostly logical reasoning.

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Joanne A.
Joanne A2 years ago

Thanks for the great article =)

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Panchali Yapa
Panchali Yapa2 years ago

Thank you

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Sheila Miller
Sheila M2 years ago

I love art because I love to see the creativity of others. Thanks for the article.

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