Neuropsychology of Art
Neurological, Cognitive and Evolutionary Perspectives
Psychology Press – 2005 – 280 pages
Series: Brain, Behaviour and Cognition
The significance of art in human existence has long been a source of puzzlement, fascination, and mystery. In Neuropsychology of Art, Dahlia W. Zaidel explores the brain regions and neuronal systems that support artistic creativity, talent, and appreciation.
Both the visual and musical arts are discussed against a neurological background. Evidence from the latest relevant brain research is presented and critically examined in an attempt to clarify the brain-art relationship, language processing and visuo-spatial perception. The consequences of perceptual problems in famous artists, along with data from autistic savants and established artists with brain damage as a result of unilateral stroke, dementia, or other neurological conditions, are brought into consideration and the effects of damage to specific regions of the brain explored. A major compilation of rare cases of artists with brain damage is provided and the cognitive abilities required for the neuropsychology of art reviewed.
This book draws on interdisciplinary principles from the biology of art, brain evolution, anthropology, and the cinema through to the question of beauty, language, perception, and hemispheric specialization. It will be of interest to advanced students in neuro-psychology, neuroscience and neurology, to clinicians and all researchers and scholars interested in the workings of the human brain.
'I recommend this book, particularly for its digestible lessons and interesting examples, to anyone who is filled with innovative ideas and curiosity.' - Liz Franz, in The Lancet Neurology, April 2006
'The diverse material and clarity of writing makes Neuropsychology of Art of interest to all scientists and scholars as well as a useful and fascinating source on important current developments in the field of brain and art.' - Dr. N.M.J. Edelstyn, Keele University, in The Psychologist, October 2006
'The book's written style is clear and scholarly, the scope is remarkably broad, and altogether makes for an interesting read. … To the best of my knowledge, no other book on the topic coalesces so many of the reported neurologic data on visual and musical artists, and provides interpretation of their deficits together with explanations of the role of the cerebral structures damaged in creativity and aesthetics. There is a rich tapestry of ideas not previously combined in scholarly writings on art and the brain.' - Laura Piccardi, La Sapienza, University of Rome, in Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology, September 2006
Approaches to the Neuropsychology of Art. The Effects of Brain Damage in Established Visual Artists. The Eye and Brain in Artist and Viewer: Alterations in Vision and Color Perception. Special Visual Artists: The Effects of Autism and Slow Brain Atrophy. Musical Art and Brain Damage: I. Established Composers. Musical Art and Brain Damage. II. Performing and Listening to Music. Artists and Viewers: Components of Perception and Cognition in Visual Art. Neuropsychological Considerations of Drawing and Seeing Pictures. Beauty, Pleasure, and Emotions: Reactions to Art Works. Human Brain Evolution, Biology and the Early Emergence of Art. Further Considerations in the Neuropsychology of Art. Conclusion and the Future of the Neuropsychology of Art.
Dahlia Zaidel is Adjunct Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and Member of the Brain Research Institute of the University of California, Los Angeles.