Wellbeing . Equality, Diversity and Inclusiveness
Science of conscious vs. Philosophical thinking
We perceive the world around us, and ourselves within it, with, through and because our living bodies. Through this project art and music, we inspire people "being you" empowering and authentic-self in life.
Steven Weinberg, who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1979, concedes in his book "Dreams of a Final Theory" that there's a problem with consciousness, and despite the power of physical theory, the existence of consciousness doesn't seem derivable from physical laws. "It will remain remarkable," said Nobel physicist Eugene Wigner, who helped lay the foundations for the theory of symmetries in quantum mechanics "in whatever way our future concepts may develop, that the very study of the external world led to the conclusion that the content of the consciousness is an ultimate reality."
Our consciousness is why exist. It unifies the thinking and extended worlds into a coherent experience and animates the music that creates our emotions and purposes — the good and the bad, wars and love. True, there's pain and strife everywhere. We are the universe becoming conscious of itself. Bettering ourselves is bettering the universe. A smarter human race is a smarter universe. The Butterfly Effect exemplifies the fact that we all affect the world whether we like it or not. We will all probably be forgotten, but the way we affected the universe will pervade space and time forever until the end of the universe. There is no way to know exactly what the reason for our existence is. We cannot even prove or disprove if we live in a simulation.
The Brain—is wider than the Sky—
For—put them side by side—
The one the other will contain
With ease—and you—beside—
The Brain is deeper than the sea—
For—hold them—Blue to Blue—
The one the other will absorb—
The Brain is just the weight of God—
For—left them—Pound for Pound—
And they will differ—if they do—
As Syllable from Sound—
Emily Dickinson, c. 1862
ART (PSYCHO)THERAPY AND NEUROAESTHETICS
Eleni Giannoulis, Clinical Psychologist MSc, Neuropsychologist, Art Psychotherapist MA, Group Analyst (tr.),
Creative Arts Therapies' Supervisor, ECPh
Neuroaesthetics is a field of study that seeks to understand the neural mechanisms underlying aesthetic experiences, such as those involved in viewing art or listening to music. It seeks to understand how the brain processes and responds to aesthetic stimuli and how this can lead to the subjective experience of beauty. It combines knowledge from neuroscience, psychology, and aesthetics to investigate the relationship between the brain and aesthetic experiences. Neuroaesthetics research has provided insights into how the brain processes visual and auditory stimuli and how it responds to aesthetic experiences.
The concept of neuroaesthetics was first introduced by Semir Zeki in the late 1990s. Since then, it has gained popularity among neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers interested in the relationship between the brain and aesthetics.
Some of the prominent researchers in the field of neuroaesthetics include Vittorio Gallese, Anjan Chatterjee, Alfonso Caramazza, and Margaret Livingstone. Their work has explored various aspects of aesthetic experiences, such as the role of emotions, cognitive processes, and neural networks in shaping our perception of art and beauty.
Neuroaesthetics has also led to important insights into the relationship between aesthetics and mental health. Research has been shown that exposure to art can activate the reward centers in the brain and promote feelings of pleasure and positive emotions. Studies have also demonstrated the potential of art to promote cognitive functions, such as attention, memory, and perception. Engaging with art and music can have positive effects on mood, cognition, and well-being
ART THERAPY AND NEUROAESTHETICS
Art (psycho)therapy is a type of therapy that utilizes the creative process of art making to improve and enhance an individual's physical, mental, and emotional well-being. It is based on the principle that the act of creating art can be therapeutic, helping individuals to express themselves and explore their feelings, thoughts, and emotions. Art psychotherapy has been shown to be effective in treating a wide range of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, trauma, and addiction. It is based on the belief that the creative process involved in artistic expression can help people resolve conflicts, develop interpersonal skills, manage behavior, reduce stress, and increase self-esteem. Through the use of art materials such as paint, clay, and collage, individuals can express themselves in ways that may be difficult to put into words.
Art (psycho)therapy and neuroaesthetics are two fields that are related to the use of art in healing and well-being. Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy that uses creative expression to help individuals explore and process their emotions, thoughts, and experiences. Neuroaesthetics, on the other hand, is the study of the neural processes underlying the experience of art and aesthetics. Neuroaesthetics explores the neural processes underlying the experience of art and aesthetics. It looks at how the brain processes visual and auditory information, and how this processing can lead to emotional and cognitive responses to art. Studies in neuroaesthetics have shown that viewing art can activate brain regions associated with reward, emotion, and attention.
The relationship between art therapy and neuroaesthetics is complex and multifaceted. Art therapy may be informed by research in neuroaesthetics, as understanding the neural processes underlying the experience of art can inform the therapeutic process. Additionally, art therapy may be used as a tool to study the neural mechanisms underlying the therapeutic effects of art.
There is a growing body of research that supports the use of art therapy as a complementary treatment for a range of mental health conditions. For example, a systematic review published in the Journal of the American Art Therapy Association in 2017 found that art therapy was effective in reducing symptoms of depression, anxiety, and trauma-related disorders.
Neuroaesthetics research has shown that viewing and creating art can activate brain regions associated with reward and pleasure, such as the nucleus accumbens and the ventral striatum. This suggests that art may have a positive impact on our emotional wellbeing.
There is also evidence to suggest that art therapy and neuroaesthetics may be particularly beneficial for older adults. A study published in the Journal of Aging and Health in 2015 found that art therapy improved the emotional wellbeing and quality of life of older adults in residential care, while another study published in the Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology in 2018 found that viewing art improved the cognitive function and social engagement of older adults.
In summary, research studies have shown that art therapy and neuroaesthetics can have positive effects on emotional and cognitive wellbeing, and may be particularly beneficial for older adults.
Cela-Conde, C. J., García-Prieto, J., Ramasco, J. J., Mirasso, C. R., Bajo, R., & Munar, E. (2013). Dynamics of brain networks in the aesthetic appreciation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110(0), 10454-10461.
Chatterjee, A. (2019). The aesthetic brain: How we evolved to desire beauty and enjoy art. Oxford University Press.
Chatterjee, A. (2011). Neuroaesthetics: A coming of age story. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 23(1), 53-62.
Cupchik, G. C., Vartanian, O., Crawley, A., & Mikulis, D. J. (2009). Viewing artworks: Contributions of cognitive control and perceptual facilitation to aesthetic experience. Brain and Cognition, 70(1), 84-91.
Eagleman, D., & Langer, E. J. (2017). The Art of Neuroscience: Aesthetic, Creativity, and Perception. Dana Press. (United States edition).
Eagleman, D., & Langer, E. J. (2017). Your Brain on Art: Insights from Neuroscience and Art History. Profile Books Ltd. (United Kingdom edition).
Gallese, V. (2000). The Inner Sense of Movement: Aesthetic Experience and the Motor System. Oxford University Press.
Jacobsen, T., & Höfel, L. (2003). Descriptive and evaluative judgment processes: Behavioral and electrophysiological indices of processing symmetry and aesthetics. Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, 3(4), 289-299.
Livingstone, M. (2002). Vision and Art: The Biology of Seeing. Harry N. Abrams.
Zeki, S. (1999). Inner vision: An exploration of art and the brain. Oxford University Press.
American Art Therapy Association. (2020). About Art Therapy. Retrieved from https://arttherapy.org/about-art-therapy/
Malchiodi, C. A. (Ed.). (2012). Handbook of art therapy (2nd ed.). Guilford Press.
The relationship between art therapy and neuroaesthetics:
Bolwerk, A., Mack-Andrick, J., Lang, F. R., Dörfler, A., & Maihöfner, C. (2014). How art changes your brain: Differential effects of visual art production and cognitive art evaluation on functional brain connectivity. PloS one, 9(7), e101035. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0101035
Malchiodi, C. A. (2019). Art therapy and the brain: An attempt to understand the underlying processes of art expression in therapy. Art Therapy, 36(1), 5-8. doi: 10.1080/07421656.2019.1559345.
Kaimal, G., Ray, K., & Muniz, J. (2016). Reductions in cortisol associated with primary care art therapy for women with chronic pain. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 49, 34-39.
Kornblatt, L. J. (2018). Neuroaesthetics and art therapy: A potential synergy. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 57, 49-56.
Ross, I., & Magsamen, S. (2019). Your Brain on Art: How the Arts Transform Us. New Harbinger Publications.
Zaidel, D. W., & Nadal, M. (Eds.). (2013). Handbook of neuroaesthetics. Springer Science & Business Media.
USEFUL INFORMATION AND INSIGHT
"Your Brain on Art: How the Arts Transform Us" is a book co-authored by Ivy Ross and Susan Magsamen, published in 2019. The book explores how the arts can stimulate the brain, enhance creativity, and improve well-being. Ivy Ross is an executive at Google and a designer, and Susan Magsamen is an expert on creativity and learning and the founder of the International Arts + Mind Lab at Johns Hopkins University.
Dr. David Eagleman and artist Dr. Ellen J. Langer co-authored the book "The Art of Neuroscience: Aesthetic, Creativity, and Perception" (published in the United Kingdom as "Your Brain on Art") in 2017. The book explores the intersection of art and neuroscience, discussing how the brain processes visual information, how art affects our perception and emotions, and the potential of art to enhance our understanding of the brain. Dr. Eagleman is a neuroscientist and adjunct professor at Stanford University, and Dr. Langer is a social psychologist and professor of psychology at Harvard University.
RE MAPPING : Weaving together
Social Engagement & Inclusion
Dr. Eleni Giannoulis,
Clinical Psychologist MSc, Neuropsychologist, Art Psychotherapist MA,
Group Analyst (tr.), Creative Arts Therapies' Supervisor, ECPh
Textiles are composed by yarns, dots and threads, as is music’s composition.
Weaving and music playing symbolize the making, the creation of something unique.
One would think that in our lives we are constantly weaving.
At the end of the event, all participants will be asked to interact with fabric pieces and make their own creations as response art to their experience. They will use fabric pieces in order to play, express themselves freely and create something tangible out of their whole experience and the reflective process that it produced. Afterwards, they will put their own artwork on the wall as part of an unexpected artwork!
Thus, they will be able to connect and have the sense of being unique in the wholeness of a larger common textile surface, which could be seen as an analogy to the connective tissue of society and thus includes the social proximity in the weaving: one is an individual and belongs in a group at the same time. It symbolizes togetherness, inclusion and differentiation.
This Artwork created by all the people participating in the event will let make them feel included and it is a metaphor for all audiences receiving the sense of belongingness.
Through that, they become empowered to accept wholeheartedly and authentically themselves without the need to include any terminology defined by diagnoses. Clearly the need for expression, participation and belonging will be met and fulfilled in the “here and now” with what is being done.
Eleni Giannoulis is a Clinical Psychologist, Art Psychotherapist, and Neuropsychologist at the Medical School of Athens (1st Psychiatric Clinic, Eginition Hospital), co-founder and member of EFAT - European Federation of Art Therapy. She is an experienced Psychotherapist with a demonstrated history of working in the mental health care industry. Skilled in Art Psychotherapy, Group art psychotherapy, Clinical Research, Crisis Intervention, Clinical Supervision, Corporate art therapy and Teaching. Strong arts professional graduated from University of Athens, Panteion University, University of Peiraeus and Art and Psychotherapy Center (APC).
Founding member of The European Federation of Art Therapy that aims to unite art therapists and professional art therapy associations in Europe. EFAT works actively to promote further development of professional practice, training and research, and the recognition of the profession. It aims to nurture mutual respect of diversity and to foster collaboration and contributions between member countries. It seeks to assure and promote the quality of Art Therapy practice and training for the benefit of clients, professionals and institutions. The activities of the federation are ultimately for public benefit.
Papadimitriou, G.N., Yotis, L., Maravelis, D., Pantagoutsou, A., Giannouli, E. (eds) (2019). The contribution of Arts Therapies in Psychiatric Therapeutics. BETA Medical Publications, Athens, Greece.