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Parkinson's disease and changes in the appreciation of art: A comparison of aesthetic and formal evaluations of paintings between PD patients and healthy controls

Lauring, JO; Pelowski, M; Specker, E; Ishizu, T; Haugbol, S; Hollunder, B; Leder, H; ... Kupers, R; + view all (2019) Parkinson's disease and changes in the appreciation of art: A comparison of aesthetic and formal evaluations of paintings between PD patients and healthy controls. Brain and Cognition , 136 , Article 103597. 10.1016/j.bandc.2019.103597.

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Abstract

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressing neurodegenerative disease predominantly involving the loss of dopamine producing neurons with hallmark symptoms of motor disorders and cognitive, motivational, emotional, and perceptual impairments. Intriguingly, PD can also be connected—often anecdotally—with a sudden burst of artistic creativity, motivation, or changed quality/style of produced art. This has led to growing empirical interest, promising a window into brain function and the unique neurological signature of artists. This topic also fits a growing interest from researchers in other areas, including Alzheimer’s or other dementia, which have suggested that specific changes in art production/appraisal may provide a unique basis for therapy, diagnosis, or understanding of these diseases. However, whether PD also shows similar impacts on how we perceive and evaluate art has never been systematically addressed. We compared a cohort of PD patients against age-matched healthy controls, asking participants to rate paintings using scales of liking and beauty and terms pertaining to artworks’ formal and conceptual qualities previously designed to provide a rubric for symptom identification. We found no evidence for PD-related differences in liking or beauty. However, PD patients showed higher ratings on assessed “emotionality,” potentially relating to the tie between PD, dopamine pathways, and emotion/reward.

Type: Article
Title: Parkinson's disease and changes in the appreciation of art: A comparison of aesthetic and formal evaluations of paintings between PD patients and healthy controls
DOI: 10.1016/j.bandc.2019.103597
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bandc.2019.103597
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Parkinson's disease, Art viewing, Aesthetic appraisal, Brain damage, Emotion, Perception
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Cell and Developmental Biology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10087441
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