Something in our brain responds when we look at a painting.
That experience refreshes and changes us. Afterwards we are more creative and open to learning. We are less mentally fatigued.
Our brains are primed for enjoying art.
For longer than we’ve had the written word, humans have created and stared at images drawn onto walls in the hopes of invoking something — story, awe, remembrance.
. . . .
A study published in the June issue of the journal Brain and Cognition looked at the research that neuroscientists have done while scanning the brains of people looking at paintings. In some cases subjects were asked to evaluate the work they looked at, in others they just looked.
Viewing paintings triggered responses in brain regions associated with visual understanding and object recognition, as might be expected, but viewing artwork also was connected to activity associated with emotions, inner thoughts, and learning.
. . . .
After visiting an art museum, students show stronger critical thinking skills and are more socially tolerant. Much of the research on this topic involves children or young adults but the benefits are consistent, and other research shows that (more general) arts programs may help older adults keep healthy and stave off cognitive decline, though more studies are needed in the area.
Visiting a museum can relieve mental fatigue and restore the ability to focus in the same way that the outdoors can,according to research from the University of Queensland in Australia — this research wasn’t limited to art museums, which is why the assignment doesn’t require an art museum specifically.
But in general, going to a museum is a novelty-seeking venture, which triggers your brain to be open to learning.
Link to the rest at SFGate
PG enjoys all sorts of visual art, but since he dabbles in photography, that’s one of his favorites.
PG suspects the creative benefits from viewing art can also be obtained by looking at good photographs online. Two of his favorite locations for doing this are 500px and Photo.net (you can filter Photo.net in all sorts of ways).