Why We’re All Art Aficionados… On The Inside

Do you appreciate art? When was the last time you went to a museum? While some people may be more willing than others to immerse themselves into the artistic world, that doesn’t necessarily mean everyone doesn’t enjoy art on a cognitive level. Have you ever stopped to think about what happens when you look at pictures, paintings or other types of art?

A new study published in the June issue of the journal Brain and Cognition reveals that when study participants viewed paintings in an MRI machine, multiple areas of the brain were stimulated. Areas commonly found to be activated include “vision, pleasure, memory, recognition and emotions, in addition to systems that underlie the conscious processing of new information to give it meaning.”

That is the foundation of much of what we do at BuzzBack – use images as catalysts for storytelling and uncovering personal insight and emotions. This may involve memory, attitudes, emotions and more. And when images are used to trigger conscious processing of new information, this can be powerful. Our research on research has shown that using imagery during a survey with open-ended follow-up delivers up to twice as much verbal playback as standard open-ends alone.

We’re not the only ones tapping into this application. There are other industries who are using art and imagery to provoke feelings, too. Art Therapy uses artwork to explore feelings and emotions. Some art therapists exercise photo art therapy techniques in which photos are used to evoke thoughts, feelings and memories while also enhancing communication.

Something new to think about next time you view that Renoir or Manet on your next museum visit.