What has inspired Age of Artists in June? Exciting, entertaining and controversial findings from the World Wide Web. Our Top Picks of the Month:
“It falls into line with evidence that focus of expertise really does change the brain. The brain is incredibly flexible in response to training and there are huge individual differences that we are only beginning to tap into”. BBCs science reporter Melissa Hogenboom reports about a new study that says that people who are better at drawing seem to have more developed structures in regions of the brain that control for fine motor performance and what we call procedural memory. Science has always been trying to find out if talent is innate or not. It seems it is all about practice: Ellen Winner of Boston College, who was not involved with the study, commented that it was very interesting research. She said it should help “put to rest the facile claims that artists use ‘the right side of their brain’ given that increased grey and white matter were found in the art group in both left and right structures of the brain”. Read all about the study results.
The Guardian reports about another interesting scientific work that says that reading literary fiction improves empathy. Our ability to understand others’ emotions is developed by this literary genre more than by thrillers or romance novels. It enables you to transfer the experience of reading fiction into real-world situations. Fiction is not just a simulator of a social experience, it is a social experience. Liz Bury blogs about David Comer Kidds and Emanuele Castanos´ research.
So our favorite literary works help us to develop further. But did you know anything about the genesis of this literary compositions? Have a look at this fun graphic from Lapham´s Quarterly.
In June we loved science, so our last pick is about neuroscience too: Do you remember the time when you wrote your term paper the night before deadline? You may have felt the workflow. But deadlines crush your creativity. Neuroscientist John Kounious argues that although deadlines do likely encourage your productivity, they can simultaneously torpedo your creativity. Mellissa Dahl from nymag.com writes about Kounious´ opinions on deadlines. And if we had not written this article at the eleventh hour – perhaps it would be more creative…
What has inspired you this past month?
Picture Source: Wikipedia Commons