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Prog Brain Res. 2013;204:99-112. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-444-63287-6.00005-1.

Artistic creativity and dementia.

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UCSF Memory and Aging Center, San Francisco, CA, USA. Electronic address:


Artistic ability and creativity are defining characteristics of human behavior. Behavioral neurology, as a specialty, believes that even the most complex behaviors can be modeled and understood as the summation of smaller cognitive functions. Literature from individuals with specific brain lesions has helped to map out these smaller regions of cognitive abilities. More recently, models based on neurodegenerative conditions, especially from the frontotemporal dementias, have allowed for greater nuanced investigations into the various functional anatomies necessary for artistic behavior and possibly the underlying networks that promote creativity.


frontotemporal dementia; logopenic variant; new onset artistic behavior; nonfluent variant; primary progressive aphasia; semantic variant

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