Intrinsic impacts of arts and culture

The intrinsic impacts of arts and culture relate to the ways in which people are affected by these phenomena. The sort of intrinsic impacts found in this section include the feeling of escape from daily life, being made to think afresh about the world, or perhaps enjoying a moment of self-reflection.

The summaries in this category are:

The impact of jazz festivals

This research was conducted by Emma Webster and George McKay at the University of East Anglia

Summary

The UK is home to an estimated 200 jazz festivals. In an assessment of the literature around these diverse events, this research highlights their manifold impacts: from catalysing economic growth through to expanding social ...

By | 26 March 2018 |

The impact of dance and music training on our brains

This research was conducted by Chiara Giacosa and four others at the Université de Montréal, Canada.

Summary

Dance and music are universal forms of human expression that have common and distinct features. Dance engages the whole body and requires the integration of visual, auditory and motor information. Music engages specific parts ...

By | 19 March 2018 |

The emotional power of poetry and its impact on our brains

This research was conducted by Eugen Wassiliwizky, Valentin WagnerStefan Koelsch, and Winfried Menninghaus at Frankfurt am Main, and Thomas Jacobson at Helmut Schmidt University, Germany.

Summary

It is widely accepted that music can engage us, triggering emotional responses such us “chills” and “goosebumps”. In this study, scientists demonstrated that recited ...

By | 1 February 2018 |

Musicians react faster than non-musicians

This research was conducted by Simon P. Landry and François Champoux at the Université de Montréal, Canada.

Summary

This study aimed to investigate whether long-term musical training improves unisensory (audio or tactile) and multisensory (audio and tactile) processing capacities. It found that musical training improves ability for both single and multiple ...

By | 3 July 2017 |

Dance as a form of emotion-sensitivity training

This research was conducted by Julia F. Christensen, Antoni Gomila, Sebastian B. Gaigg, Nithura Sivarajah and Beatriz Calvo-Merino at City University London and University of the Balearic Islands

Summary

Expertise in the arts is known to be associated with changes in the structure and function of the brain, leading artists to ...

By | 30 January 2017 |

The different effects of group singing on middle-class and marginalised people

This research was conducted by Betty A. Bailey and Jane W. Davidson at the University of Sheffield, UK

Summary

Singing in a group can bring profound positive emotional results, though the exact nature of the benefits may vary with the singer’s background. This study examined the experiences of Canadian singing ...

By | 4 July 2016 |

Cultural value is best understood through conversations with audiences

This research was conducted by Ben Walmsley at the University of Leeds, UK

Summary

This article presents findings from an in-depth project carried out with five audience-participants at cultural events during Leeds’ annual LoveArts festival. The researchers asked participants to explain what the arts meant to them. They discovered that people ...

By | 9 June 2016 |

Reading literary fiction improves emotion recognition

This research was conducted by Jessica E. Black and Jennifer L. Barnes at the University of Oklahoma, USA

Summary

This study aimed to replicate previous findings that have shown reading literary fiction to enhance people’s Theory of Mind (the ability to infer and reason about our own and others’ beliefs ...

By | 6 June 2016 |

Subsidised performances are more innovative and imaginative

This research was conducted by Joshua Edelman and Maja Šorli at the University of London, UK and the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

Summary

Findings from a study conducted in 2014 indicate that subsidised performances were considered more challenging than commercial performances. Amateur performances were rated of lower quality but participants ...

By | 14 December 2015 |

How art changes your brain

This research was conducted by Anne Bolwerk and four others at University Hospital Erlangen and Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany

Summary

Looking at art can invoke strong emotions, but can it actually change the connections you make in your brain? Researchers in Germany recruited 28 adults and randomly assigned them into either evaluating ...

By | 7 December 2015 |