Title: Drawing on the right side of the brain: a voxel-based morphometry analysis of observational drawing
Authors: Chamberlain, Rebecca ×
McManus, Chris
Brunswick, Nicola
Rankin, Qona
Riley, Howard
Kanai, Ryota #
Issue Date: 24-Mar-2014
Publisher: Academic Press
Series Title: NeuroImage vol:96 issue:1 pages:167-173
Abstract: Structural brain differences in relation to expertise have been demonstrated in a number of
domains including visual perception, spatial navigation, complex motor skills and musical
ability. However no studies have assessed the structural differences associated with
representational skills in visual art. As training artists are inclined to be a heterogeneous group in
terms of their subject matter and chosen media, it was of interest to investigate whether there
would be any consistent changes in neural structure in response to increasing representational
drawing skill. In the current study a cohort of 44 graduate and post-graduate art students and
non-art students completed drawing tasks. Scores on these tasks were then correlated with the
regional grey and white matter volume in cortical and subcortical structures. An increase in grey
matter density in the left anterior cerebellum and the right medial frontal gyrus was observed in
relation to observational drawing ability, whereas artistic training (art students vs. non-art
students) was correlated with increased grey matter density in the right precuneus. This suggests
that observational drawing ability relates to changes in structures pertaining to fine motor control
and procedural memory, and that artistic training in addition is associated with enhancement of
structures pertaining to visual imagery. The findings corroborate the findings of small-scale
fMRI studies and provide insights into the properties of the developing artistic brain.
ISSN: 1053-8119
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Laboratory for Experimental Psychology
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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