Food For Thought: Art is Good For Your Brain!

A recent study by University Hospital Erlangen in Germany suggests that, other than relieving stress, coming into contact with art specifically by making art works or crafts, can create “a significant improvement in psychological resilience”. This is due to the excessive use of motor and cognitive processing in the brain, stimulating it. Such discoveries are beneficial especially to the elderly, as creating art keeps the brain healthy, which could help slow down the onslaught of memory loss. You can read more on the findings here.

Science, engineering and all other typically ‘non-artsy’ fields have artistic elements about them; in fact, mathematical equations, DNA and even microbiological elements can be seen as works of art all on their own, serving both aesthetic and educational purposes. Even bacteria, manipulated by scientists such as Eshel Ben-Jacob, can create psychedelic patterns based on natural formations due to change in temperature or environment. The results are truly groovy.

A certain amount of creativity and a sense of design were definitely needed to create “inFORM”, an invention from MIT which allows users to interact with objects through a screen (yes, the digital kind). This invention is capable of rendering 3D objects physically, allowing users to interact with each other no matter how far away they are.

Not only can our artistic side create new inventions or help us see the scientific world in a different light, but art can help keep the brain active and healthy for many decades, or in the case of Hal Lasko, almost a century. The 99 year old, who passed away this year, worked as a typographer in his youth, making fonts by hand. After becoming partially blind in his senior years, Lasko turned to digital mediums such as Microsoft Paint, creating over 150 digital pieces.

Art it seems is a lot more beneficial to us than merely another creative outlet and stress-reliever, and we have science to thank for reaching that conclusion!

-Anna Paluch