Neuropsychology of Art: Neurological, Cognitive, and Evolutionary Perspectives, 2nd Edition (Paperback) book cover

Neuropsychology of Art

Neurological, Cognitive, and Evolutionary Perspectives, 2nd Edition

By Dahlia W. Zaidel

Psychology Press

272 pages | 24 B/W Illus.

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Fully updated, the second edition of Neuropsychology of Art offers a fascinating exploration of the brain regions and neuronal systems which support artistic creativity, talent and appreciation. This landmark book is the first to draw upon neurological, evolutionary, and cognitive perspectives, and to provide an extensive compilation of neurological case studies of professional painters, composers and musicians.

The book presents evidence from the latest brain research, and develops a multidisciplinary approach, drawing upon theories of brain evolution, biology of art, art trends, archaeology, and anthropology. It considers the consequences of brain damage to the creation of art and the brain’s control of art. The author delves into a variety of neurological conditions in established artists, including unilateral stroke, dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, and also evidence from savants with autism.

Written by a leading neuropsychologist, Neuropsychology of Art will be of great interest to students and researchers in neuropsychology, cognitive psychology, neuroscience, and neurology, and also to clinicians in art therapy.


The new edition of Neuropsychology of Art builds on the many strengths of the first edition by offering a comprehensive treatment of the biological bases of the creation and perception of art. The book should be of great interest to students and researchers seriously interested in empirical approaches to understanding the brain’s role in creativity and art reception. - Oshin Vartanian, Department of Psychology, University of Toronto Scarborough, Canada

Neuropsychology of Art is a timeless, must-read text for all those who want to know more about the effects of brain damage on the expression of art – and by implication, the relationship between the expression of art and its representation within the brain. This book is a source of information and inspiration for scientists and clinicians working with brain-damaged individuals. - Nicky Edelstyn, Keele University, UK

The decade since the first edition of Dahlia Zaidel’s extraordinary book has seen major growth in the investigation of the neural basis of art. This second edition revises and updates the new findings. I strongly recommend it to all neuroscientists, scholars, clinicians, and lay readers. - Laura Piccardi, Università dell’Aquila, Italy

The updated edition of Zaidel's The Neuropsychology of Art gives the best, single overview of how various disturbances to the brain can inform our understanding of the role played by the brain in the human species' propensity for creating and experiencing art. By examining changes to perception, cognition, and emotion, Zaidel demonstrates that art behavior is the result of many brain systems, not a single art "module". The Neuropsychology of Art was a seminal publication when it was first published, and remains a must-read cornerstone of the rapidly growing neuroaesthetics literature. - Martin Skov, Center for Decision Neuroscience, Copenhagen Business School, & Danish Research Centre for Magnetic Resonance, Denmark

The book is comprehensive in scope… Much of the necessary information on anatomy and physiology is given prior to explaining brain damage and deficits… This makes the book ideal as an introductory text for undergraduates… The case study approach will be of great interest to clinical neuropsychologists… Neuropsychology of Art is well worth the read. It provides a broad overview of the research behind how we perceive and produce art, and it does so from a multidisciplinary perspective. It is an idea introducty text on these topics, laying out much of the needed background information. At the same time, it can serve as a reference work for clinical neuropsychologists and researchers in the field of neuroaesthetics. - Jay Friedenberg, Manhattan College, PsycCritiques

Table of Contents

1. Approaches to the neuropsychology of art 2. The effects of brain damage in established artists 3. The eye and brain in artist and viewer: alterations in vision and color perception 4. Special visual artists: the effects of savant autism and slow brain atrophy on art production and creativity 5. Musical art and brain damage I: established composers 6. Musical art and brain damage II: performing and listening to music 7. Artists and viewers: components of perception and cognition in visual art 8. Neuropsychological considerations of drawing and seeing pictures 9. Beauty, pleasure, and emotions: reactions to art works 10. Biology, human brain evolution, and the early emergence of art 11. Further considerations: Talent, creativity, imagination 12. Conclusion and the future of the neuropsychology of art

About the Author

Dahlia W. Zaidel is Adjunct Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Neuroscience and at the University of California, Los Angeles, USA

About the Series

Brain, Behaviour and Cognition

From being an area primarily on the periphery of mainstream behavioural and cognitive science, neuropsychology has developed in recent years into an area of central concern for a range of disciplines.

We are witnessing not only a revolution in the way in which brain-behaviour-cognition relationships are viewed, but also a widening of interest concerning developments in neuropsychology on the part of a range of workers in a variety of fields.

Major advances in brain-imaging techniques and the cognitive modelling of the impairments following brain injury promise a wider understanding of the nature of the representation of cognition and behaviour in the damaged and undamaged brain.

Neuropsychology is now centrally important for those working with brain-damaged people, but the very rate of expansion in the area makes it difficult to keep with findings from the current research.

The aim of the Brain, Behaviour and Cognition series is to publish a wide range of books that present comprehensive and up-to-date overviews of current developments in specific areas of interest.

These books will be of particular interest to those working with the brain-damaged. It is the editors' intention that undergraduates, postgraduates, clinicians and researchers in psychology, speech pathology, and medicine will find this series a useful source of information on important current developments.

The authors and editors of the books in the series are experts in their respective fields, working at the forefront of contemporary research. They have produced texts that are accessible and scholarly. We thank them for their contribution and their hard work in fulfilling the aims of the series.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Clinical Psychology
PSYCHOLOGY / Neuropsychology
PSYCHOLOGY / Creative Ability