Changes in artistic style after minor posterior stroke

Annoni, J. M.; Devuyst, G.; Carota, A.; Bruggimann, L.; Bogousslavsky, J.
June 2005
Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry;Jun2005, Vol. 76 Issue 6, p797
Academic Journal
journal article
Background: Two professional painters experienced significant changes in their art as the main consequence of minor stroke located in the left occipital lobe or thalamus.Methods: The features of this artistic conversion were analysed on the basis of extensive neurological, neuropsychological, and psychiatric evaluations.Results: Both painters, initially unaware of the artistic changes, exhibited mild signs of executive dysfunction, but no general cognitive decline. The first painter, who showed mild visual-perceptive difficulties (dyschromatopsia and scotoma in his right upper visual field after left occipital stroke), together with increased anxiety and difficulty in emotional control, switched to a more stylised and symbolic art. The second painter, who also presented features of emotionalism related to his left latero-thalamic stroke, switched from an impressionist style to a more joyous and geometric, but more simplistic, abstract art.Conclusions: These findings show that mild cognitive and affective modifications due to focal posterior brain lesions can have significant repercussions on artistic expression.


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