Performing Arts and the Brain
We are investigating the brain sites that potentially show changes in activation as a function of experience in the performing arts. We are focused on abstraction, set switching, and executive control. The hypothesis that we are testing is that a performing arts education has effects on key cognitive processes in the brain that can transfer to other domains that are not directly relevant to the brain. Our early work suggest that performing arts students show more extensive activation in areas of the brain associated with the abstract qualities of a situation, We are now using an extensive battery of screening tests, DNA genotyping, and fMRI to uncover the effects of a performing arts education on the brain.
Research Sponsored by the DANA Foundation