Art Forms as Cognitive Enhancers?

There is growing scientific evidence that experiencing art both passively and actively can improve brain function and cognitive performance.   Art is used as a form of cognitive therapy with older adults and art training is advocated for children by some experts:

Michael Posner argues that when children find an art form that sustains their interest, the subsequent strengthening of their brains’ attention networks can improve cognition more broadly.

Experiencing art means experiencing beauty which is powerful emotive and intellectual stuff.  There are many anecdotal claims that it enhances mental energy, creativity, improves focus and relieves stress.

Some readers of the Next Brain Blog (including myself) have reported success with a very simple art-based technique.

  1. Find an a new art form that deeply resonates with you. Mine turned out to be the work of Juri Morioka (see sample above).
  2. Acquire legal, affordable and high quality copies.
  3. Consciously experience it on a daily or frequent basis.

It is important to find a new art form, not one you have always liked.  Also you may need to change the specific pieces you experience periodically to maintain the intensity of the cognitive effects.

Interested to hear from readers that use this or other art-based techniques to enhance brain function and cognitive performance.

Image source: Paintings by Juri Morioka