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Eur Neurol. 2005;54(2):103-11. Epub 2005 Sep 29.

Artistic creativity, style and brain disorders.

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University Department of Neurology, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, Lausanne, Switzerland.


The production of novel, motivated or useful material defines creativity, which appears to be one of the higher, specific, human brain functions. While creativity can express itself in virtually any domain, art might particularly well illustrate how creativity may be modulated by the normal or pathological brain. Evidence emphasizes global brain functioning in artistic creativity and output, but critical steps which link perception processing to execution of a work, such as extraction-abstraction, as well as major developments of non-esthetic values attached to art also underline complex activation and inhibition processes mainly localized in the frontal lobe. Neurological diseases in artists provide a unique opportunity to study brain-creativity relationships, in particular through the stylistic changes which may develop after brain lesion.

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