How Does Looking at Art Stimulate the Brain?

We all know that art is considered a thing of beauty, culture and prestige and that some people will go to great lengths and spend copious dollars on securing specific pieces. But why? What does a canvas covered in carefully positioned strokes in various colours do for the human experience?


Believe it or not, there is actually a scientific reason for the feeling of awe that viewing art generates within us. Art has found its way into modern society as not only a hedonic pleasure but something that is scientifically proven to stimulate a positive mental experience. 




Art & The Brain: The Neuroscience Behind Viewing Art

First and foremost, art is a way for the brain to escape its place and time by connecting with someone or something else. In the same way that listening to music and reading a book allows us to feel ‘carried away’ for a minute, viewing art evokes what is known as embodied cognition. 

Connection Through Embodiment 

Embodied cognition is more or less the idea that we are connected with our environments - in that, we as humans connect what we see to how we feel. When we see art, we start to imagine ourselves in that place or the artist’s state of mind. For example, when we see the Mona Lisa, we wonder why her gaze was so melancholy. But we don’t just ponder this thought and move on. If we did, it’s likely that this Renaissance icon would not have made such a mark in history. Instead, scientists, historians, artists and art collectors have spent decades pouring their hard-earned money, time and energy into trying to decipher what emotion was behind this woman’s mystic smile - and more importantly, why.

Put simply, art helps us animate life, depict death and romanticise in all that exists in between the two. 

Storytelling Through Art in History


Art has had a significant role in society for as long as historians can date. From the neolithic cave and rock paintings that are still being uncovered today to the Egyptian Tomb Art that immortalised the lives of their kings and queens, the connection between our human emotions and the art we view is as old as time itself.


The Purpose of Art in Modern Spaces


So, we know that art is a form of connectivity deeply ingrained into our psyche as humans. But let’s get with the times. What purpose does art have in a modern-day space, such as an office or apartment building?


Art in The Office

There is a lot of research happening in this space right now. Still, we do know that there is a link between our connection with another place and time and our ability to focus and remain attentive in our immediate surroundings. It’s for that reason that art is often displayed in offices and workplaces. 



Art in The Home


The reasons for displaying art in your home or apartment building are much more elaborate. The connectivity, as mentioned earlier, has several flow-on benefits in the house, such as reduced stress, increased critical thinking and increased empathy and tolerance for others. And realistically, who doesn’t find joy in being asked by a guest who painted or where you found the piece you’ve got displayed in your living room? No one that we’ve ever met before!


Finding The Right Piece of Art

So, now you’re aware of what happens to our brains when we view art, the only thing left to figure out is which piece of art will take up residency in your humble abode.


BuyArtNow prides itself on stocking a comprehensive collection of unique artworks, in many styles such as Indigenous Art, Australian Art and Landscape Art & Contemporary Art.  Check out our range of original art here, or call us at ​​(07) 3252 3130 and allow one of our friendly staff members to help you find the perfect piece.