Brain and Art: From Aesthetics to Therapeutics
This book analyzes and discusses in detail art therapy, a specific tool used to sustain health in affective developments, rehabilitation, motor skills and cognitive functions. Art therapy is based on the assumption that the process of making art (music, dance, painting) sparks emotions and enhances brain activity. Art therapy is used to encourage personal growth, facilitate particular brain areas or activity patterns, and improve neural connectivity. Treating neurological diseases using artistic strategies offers us a unique option for engaging brain structural networks that enhance the brain’s ability to form new connections. Based on brain plasticity, art therapy has the potential to increase our repertoire for treating neurological diseases. Neural substrates are the basis of complex emotions relative to art experiences, and involve a widespread activation of cognitive and motor systems. Accordingly, art therapy has the capacity to modulate behavior, cognition, attention and movement. In this context, art therapy can offer effective tools for improving general well-being, quality of life and motivation in connection with neurological diseases.