Why our brains love arts and crafts by Minna Huotilainen, Mimmu Rankanen, Camilla Groth, Pirita Seitamaa-Hakkarainen, Maarit Mäkelä in Formakademisk.
Why our brains love arts and crafts Implications of creative practices on psychophysical well-being. Formakademisk. 11(2): Art 1, 1-18
This article aims to integrate knowledge from the field of cognitive neuroscience and the arts by focusing on the implications that flow experience and the mirror neuron system integral to making processes have for our psychophysical well-being. Art and craft practitioners have personal experience of the benefits of making. We propose that the handling of material can help to regulate our mental states by providing a means to reach flow states. Furthermore, it seems that arts and crafts play an important role in controlling stress and enhancing relaxation. They enable us to fail safely and handle our associated emotions. It has also been proposed that the mirror neuron system helps in skill learning, and the plasticity of the brain ensures that skills may be learned at all stages of life. Finally, art and craft facilitate social activity for many individuals who are at risk of social isolation.
Keywords: art, craft, creative activity, well-being, brain, flow.