Brain Damage Can Enable Artistic Expression

Brain damage (such as strokes, dementia or tumors) can enable people to express themselves in a different way, which may result in increased artistic skills.

It has been found that brain damage (such as strokes, dementia or tumors) can enable people to express themselves in a different way, which may result in increased artistic skills. Comparisons can be drawn between those affected by this phenomenon with savants and other artists with great skills.

Fast Quotes:

She told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer that before her surgery, she “couldn’t even draw a stick figure.” Now she might spent two hours a day creating art, focusing on collages.”

But their [artists affected by brain damage in the course of their career] art certainly changed, and cases like these indicate that damage to the left temporal lobe often changes long-established artistic habits or unlocks a previously unknown creative impulse.

Stephen Wiltshire, an autistic savant nicknamed “the human camera,” can paint uncannily detailed vistas from memory.”

One researcher, Allan Snyder, director of the Center of the Mind, has used transcranial magnetic stimulation to temporarily upset the frontotemporal lobe, the same area where some dementia patients and autistic savants have brain damage. A portion of Snyder’s test subjects showed a temporary increase in artistic ability.

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