Thursday Thought: How Does Our Brain Process Art?
The question of how does our brain process art?, is almost one that begs to question what does art do for people. People have been making art since cave drawings and fashioning little sculptures. Some people have used these art objects as means of relaying a purpose; such as communication, religious artifacts, or a supposed belief in fertility.
Anatomy of the Brain
You may think that you use your eyes to see, however it is only a direct pathway to the brain. The light reflects in our eyes and sends these signals to our brain. Our brain then sorts them into images. Our brain can become stimulated with images that we find pleasing. We can recognize certain iconographies well, such as the difference in shapes between a person, dog, rainbow, or heart.
Types of Colors and Patterns
There are some colors that our brains find more please than others. Blues and greens tend to make us feel tranquil and give us a sense of peace. Yellows and oranges tend to make people feel happy. Pinks and purples are whimsical; with reds representing anger or passion. Some patterns as well can make us feel different emotions. Rectangular shapes can make us feel organized, while ellipses, circles, and waves can make a person feel calm. After viewing art, our brains have improved cognitive function.
Art as a Style
There are a wide variety of artistic styles that have arisen throughout history. Art is made by people and is supposed to be viewed by people to promote a social connection. This connection allows people to really feel what the artist’s intention was. The religious art of the 1300-1600s may evoke a spiritual awakening in some people. Continuing through art history, realism, and romanticism both provided people with images of their worlds to connect with. Impressionism used light effects to make light airy images that people would feel good looking at. Modern art and contemporary art elevated the artist as a person, and not just a craftsman. Artists started to translate their feelings on a canvas, sculpture, photograph, or print. Viewers would identify with the artist and empathize with these pieces.
Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky theorized that art is a common language for people with which to communicate. Art could be the universal language because everyone knows how to feel. Art therapy is a technique where people make art to relinquish any feelings of stress, anger, or anxiety. This creative process works in tandem with the brain to transport feelings into a piece of art. Art therapy has been used with children, and people who have, autism, schizophrenia, dementia, cancer, and trauma victims.
Are there any types of art or artists that make you feel the way you do? Have you practiced art therapy? Are there any other reasons you like to make art? Do you teach art, and would like us to cover any other topics related to making and viewing art? Do you have a favorite gallery or museum that heightens your feelings when you are there? Comment below.