Do Artists have Different Brains?

“Artists see the world differently.”

This is a phrase that is commonly used when marvelling over the detail and concept of another person’s artwork. Artists have a talent of capturing images and emotions and transferring them onto a blank canvas.

While in school, how often did you see the cliché of those inclined to the arts and those inclined to the sciences but hardly ever one inclined to both? This cliché has been proven true many times. In fact it has been proven so many times that people have taken to finding a scientific explanation as to why some people are simply more creative, while others are more analytical.


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There has been a long standing debate on how those that are more artistically inclined have different brains than those that are more geared towards science and mathematics. There have been instances where those who are more creatively inclined excel in the arts while doing poorly in mathematics and sciences. This may be true in some cases, while in other cases some students just excel at both.

There are a variety of theories that are in play when determining if an artist’s talent is innate or not. Some of these theories are:

  • Nature or nurture: this is the most obvious theory. Is the ability to be an artist innate or is it influenced by environmental factors? The answer could be both. Environmental factors do play a significant role in an artist’s ability to draw. If someone spent years attending drawing classes and have time at their disposal to fine tune their natural artistic skills, then they would have an advantage over someone who does have a knack for drawing, but didn’t have the resources or the time to practice their skills.
  • Brain development: every person’s brain is unique. The development of certain areas of the brain may be more developed than others. For each person, the advancement of the development varies. This explains why some might have a talent for writing while others might have a talent for crunching numbers. It has been proven that in artists, the areas of the brain specializing in fine motor performance and procedural memory are more developed. This area of the brain is linked to visual imagery – meaning that people can easily look at an image and be able to mentally deconstruct and manipulate it. This is a talent most artists have when painting/drawing images.


It has been scientifically proven that the brains of artists are ‘wired’ a bit differently than the brains of non-artists. There has been proof of enhanced developments in certain areas which can correlate with their talent for drawing and acute attention to detail.

There you have it, if you ever wonder why you have the ability to masterfully draw a landscape from memory, this is why.

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