Brains are art, too: a 3D MRI scan traces the ever-evolving neural pathways of white matter
Ever taken one of the hundred “Are You Left- Or Right-Brained?” quizzes only to be told that your rational, organized, left-brained self just isn’t cut out for the arts? Fear not – a new study has found that quantifiable artistic talent doesn’t necessarily correlate with hemisphere dominance and may, in fact, have less to do with innate biological-makeup than these internet quizzes might suggest.
The study, “Drawing on the right side of the brain: A voxel-based morphometry analysis of observational drawing“, compared the brains of 21 art students to those of non-artists and found that potential indicators of artistic talent lay not in hemisphere activity, but in overall neural-makeup. In particular, the parietal lobes of the self-identified artists, a region that facilitates spatial orientation and cognition, were found to have more grey and white matter, the two structural tissues that control functions crucial to art making, such as fine motor skills and visual perceptive abilities.
The study’s researchers also suggested that while nature does play a large role in our inherent talents, we can encourage the development of these neurological structures through experience and repetition. While we’re still a long way from uncovering the neurological origins of creativity, the study’s findings are encouraging. In short – if you want to be a good painter, practice!