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Neuroscience and the Arts

Ever wondered how engaging in the creative arts affects how our brain works? In our Neuroscience and the Arts meeting, we were able to answer this question through exploring different forms of art and what neural processes they stimulate.

The first art form Rutgers BRAIN tackled was dance, a motor aspect of the creative arts. We broke down what aspect of the brain is needed for dancing, the benefits of dancing, and how it could be a potentially effective form of therapy for those with Dementia, Parkinson's, Schizophrenia, and Depression.

Following dance, we defined poetry, a writing aspect of the creative arts, and its positive effects on the brain. Not only are there therapeutic aspects in writing poetry, but also there are benefits in listening and reading poetry. It activates one's emotional response, strengthens one's cognitive health through interpretation and analysis, and allows one to become more introspective.

Moreover, we illustrated the effects of the visual arts, such as painting and sketching, and the differences between seeing versus engaging in the visual arts. Both of these aspects has its benefits: the former more productive in terms of producing neurotransmitters, improving motor skills and having a better state of mind, and the latter more productive in terms of becoming more introspective and finding inspiration. Concluding that section, we explored how art can serve as a form of therapy through presenting a video.

Finally, the last topic we discussed was music, an auditory aspect of the creative arts. We viewed how music could have positive effects on the brain, such as improving one's mood, generating emotions and memories, and even alleviating symptoms of mood and mental disorders. Following that, we viewed varying neural processes that is activated when listening to music.

Rutgers BRAIN concluded the meeting by asking a question for our members to discuss, evoking a productive conversation amongst each other.

As always, if you weren't able to attend this meeting, the presentation is linked in the image above. For updates on our next meeting, be sure to follow us at our Instagram, @rutgers_brain, and our Facebook, Rutgers BRAIN.

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