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It's like standing in the middle of the desert!

What it is that paintings can evoke amazingly intense feelings, and what art and science have to do with each other, is what this blog post is about.

Some know it, others perhaps not yet. I did not study art but came to painting via a small detour through physics.

Clearly, I am interested in studies that scientifically - for example, with the methods of neuro-science - explore the effect of art on us humans.

For example, our brain works at full speed when we try to decipher the shapes, colors, lines and shadows of an abstract painting. The more abstract the art, the more our brain is spurred to become creative itself, says Nobel laureate in medicine Eric R. Kandel. Its blood flow increases by 10% - and this value is similar to what happens when we catch sight of a loved one.

Anyway, as humans, we are eager to interpret what we see. We do this from birth, organizing shapes and patterns in the most meaningful way possible. As a result, we often recognize faces or animals in abstract works of art. This is because our brain has become accustomed to establishing context and filling in the gaps - that is, inferring familiar things from incomplete information, shapes, patterns.

The effect of mirror neurons, known from empathy research, also has an impact on the enjoyment of art: Thus, the mirror neurons transform the pictorial stimuli of a painting into real emotions that we as viewers can feel, indeed experience. Thus, a photograph or even an artistic rendering of a desert can evoke memories of heat, warmth, sun rays on our skin.

Just try it out - on the basis of my painting "the empty quarter"....

(One of my very early works, which is influenced by a longer stay in the United Arab Emirates). I am curious about your feedback!

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