Functional Magnetic Reso-nance Imaging (fMRI) scans of a skilled portrait artist and of a non-artist were made as each drew a series of faces. There was a dis-cernible increase in blood flow in the right-posterior parietal region of the brain for both the artist and non-artist during the task, a site normally associated with facial per-ception and processing. However, the level of activation appeared lower in the expert than in the nov-ice, suggesting that a skilled artist may process facial information more efficiently. In addition, the skilled artist showed greater acti-vation in the right frontal area of the brain than did the novice, which the author posits indicates that such an artist uses “higher-or-der” cognitive functions, such as the formation of associations and planning motor movements, when viewing and drawing a face.
Leonardo – MIT Press
Published: Feb 1, 2001
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