Your Brain on Art

Introduction written by DRAA Board Member, Laura Lamison

Seated for a show, the lights dim and the music begins. What follows could be a ballet, symphony or theatrical performance. No matter what the event, a familiar feeling overcomes the patron. You are in the moment. This is the way we all hope to live life, but sadly fall short on a regular basis. However now, as you settle in, listening to first few bars of music, you are there. In the moment. Thoughts of carpools, that email that needs to be sent, or what to make for dinner tomorrow fade away. Innately, we connect on an emotional level to an artistic performance, and when it is over, there is no way to relive it. The moment has passed.

Why is the experience at an artistic performance one of the strongest emotions of all? A new discipline called neuroaesthetics is studying the relationship between art and the brain. The following interactive article describes just that—how the brain perceives and produces art, and why. Take a few minutes to read the article, and be in the moment.