Training content development
Recent research offers a possibility with much better, science-based support: that focused training in any of the arts—such as music, dance or theater—strengthens the brain’s attention system, which in turn can improve cognition more generally. Furthermore, this strengthening likely helps explain the effects of arts training on the brain and cognitive performance that have been reported in several scientific studies, such as those presented in May 2009 at a neuroeducation summit at Johns Hopkins University (co-sponsored by the Dana Foundation).
The brain has a system of neural pathways dedicated to attention. We know that training these attention networks improves general measures of intelligence. And we can be fairly sure that focusing our attention on learning and performing an art—if we practice frequently and are truly engaged—activates these same attention networks. We therefore would expect focused training in the arts to improve cognition generally.
In general the key to transfer is diligence: Practicing for long periods of time and in an absorbed way can cause changes in more than the specific brain network related to the skill. Sustained focus can also produce stronger and more efficient attention networks, and these key networks in turn affect cognitive skills more generally.
In adults this type of activity can, freeing the unconscious, alleviate conditions of stress and existential problems and train cognitive skills.
The benefits of viewing art are countless. According to a study conducted by the University of Westminster, participants who visited an art gallery on their lunch break reported feeling less stressed afterwards and to have felt more focused. They had lower concentrations of cortisol, the stress hormone, from just 35 minutes spent roaming the gallery.
Looking at art also causes people to experience joy, akin to the sensation of falling in love. Neurobiologist Semir Zeki scanned 28 volunteers’ brains as they looked at art and noticed an immediate release of dopamine, the chemical related to love and pleasure.
Additionally, visiting the gallery has been found to relieve people of mental exhaustion.
In addition to viewing art, creating art also benefits one’s mental health. When people engage in complex activities, the brain creates new connections between brain cells. It also stimulates communication between the right and left hemispheres of the brain. Consequently, a study done on the effects of visual art production showed an increase in psychological resilience, an individual’s ability to adapt to conditions and disadvantages.
Art therapy also improves the quality of life in dementia patients and eases burden for those with chronic health conditions. For dementia patients, creating art enhances cognitive abilities and memory, in addition to aiding symptoms of depression and anxiety. Physician Dr. Arnold Bresky has used art therapy to help those with dementia and Alzheimer’s, citing a 70% success rate in improving his patients’ memories.
For other health conditions, visual arts activities help patients forget about their illnesses. It also lowers their stress hormone cortisol and gives them an outlet to express their feelings and experiences.
There are various ways to benefit from art, such as attending an art show or dabbling in oil painting. Exposing ourselves to paintings, sculptures, and photographs can lead to healthier mental states. Consider adding a beautiful portrait to your home for a quick surge of dopamine at the end of a stressful day.
It has been found that Art Therapy counteracts the neuropsychological aging process in patients suffering from Alzheimer’s or other forms of senile dementia. Depressive symptoms are reduced, as is memory loss.
Art therapy makes use of artistic tools without an aesthetic purpose, but for therapeutic reasons.
Art therapy favors an expansion of the usual patterns with which the adult sees and relates to reality, and stimulates him to take the liberty of identifying, contacting and experiencing all the unexpressed potentials. Making art involves the individual in his total mind-body. In fact, creative activity requires not only an intellectual and cognitive commitment, linked to the imagination and the conception of the artistic product, but also a commitment perceptive, sensorial, and motor, linked to artistic production in the strict sense.
the art forms mainly used in art therapy can be mentioned all the arts graphics, from drawing to writing; dance; the music; theater and cinematography.
Here a list of some Art therapy Exercises to improve your Attention skills:
- Put together a journal. Journals don’t have to just be based around words. You can make an art journal as well, that lets you visually express your emotions.
- Document an experience where you did something you didn’t think you could do. We all have to do things that we’re scared or unsure of sometimes. Use this activity as a chance to commemorate one instance in your life.
- Try drawing a song you listen to: According to an experiment conducted by researchers in the cognitive science department of Cambridge University’s Medical Research Council, scribbling while listening helps you remember details and focus better.
Furthermore, the drawing (even if poorly executed) trains our brain to observe and subsequently visualize what interests us. Drawing helps us to become better and better at intercepting elements, isolating them and representing them.
- Concentrated reading: Fast reading does not help, better to talk about effective reading: it is useless to read quickly if we do it in a distracted way!
Reading without concentration is a useless waste of time. Here is a simple exercise to improve our concentration while reading: once you have finished reading the first paragraph (or in any case a very short section), summarize what you have read in a single sentence of maximum 20 words. Being able to summarize a paragraph of 500-600 words in a single sentence requires considerable concentration and attention.
- Take photographs of things you think are beautiful. No one else has to like them but you. Print and frame them to have constant reminders of the beautiful things in life. Scientists have found out that taking a photo a day and sharing it on social media improves mood and health. Research has established that taking and sharing photos daily improves a person’s well-being through self-care, community interaction and reminiscence. Engaging in photography projects can provide numerous health benefits.
- Make Collage Art: Collages can be made from just about anything and do not require a trip to the craft store. Step outside, into your garage, or look in your “everything” drawer! Gather items that are appealing and will help tell a story.
- Train your Brain with our Disk Platform!
Making art also reduces stress and negative emotions, creating an experience akin to meditation. Similar to meditation, art draws people’s attention to details and the environment, which create a distraction from day-to-day thoughts.
Yi-Yuan Tang, a visiting professor at the University of Oregon from Dalian Medical University in China, recently reported that some forms of meditation can produce changes in the connection between the brain and the parasympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system and, after just a few days of training, can lead to improvements in the same aspects of executive attention that are trained by specifically exercising this network.This “attention state” also correlates with improved mood and resistance to stress. Our data suggest that meditation may contribute to generalized cognitive improvements in those who practice it.
The meditators demonstrated improvements in general psychological well-being, their ability to cope with stress, and maintaining attention.
According to a study recently published in the Journal of Cognitive Enhancement meditation is considered to boost a range of cognitive abilities, such as mental clarity, stability, and creativity, while increasing the length of time that someone can hold their focusTrusted Source.
Overall, research tentatively supports the claim that meditation practice can protect against age-related deficits in attention and executive function.
According the authors their findings provide initial, yet provocative, evidence that continued meditation practice may be associated with a moderation of age-related decline in attentional components known to be sensitive to aging.
Importantly, meditation is easy to practice at home, relatively cost-effective, and unlikely to cause side effects.
Choose among: readings, texts, videos, quizzes, games, etc. and explain
What is Art Terapy: https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-art-therapy-2795755
Art Therapy in Action: Neuroscience, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jm3h0IKzpXo
The why and how of art therapy, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8QOTzjLP-4
ART THERAPY activity for anxiety, grounding, & mindfulness: Therapeutic art projects at home, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMSC95hEj2w
Beyond Art Therapy Roll-A-feelings game, https://www.creativecounseling101.com/art-therapy-roll-feelings-game.html
How to Meditate, https://www.mindful.org/how-to-meditate/
Le Guide di Headspace, meditazione, Netflix
The human capacity to sustain attention over time is limited and effortful, and is prone to fatigue, lapses, and fluctuations with prolonged engagement. These limitations are exacerbated by age-related cognitive decline and there is now considerable interest in identifying training interventions that can offer effective remediation in aging populations and promote cognitive improvements in healthy individuals at large.
In this module you will learn about the relationship between cognitive Skills and Art Therapy and Meditation.
Specifically, you will learn easy, funny and stimulating exercises to improve your Attention Skill.
Learning Outcomes /Objectives
By the end of this module, you will be able to:
- acquire artistic ability;
- boost creativity;
- acquire active listening;
- Acquire ability to inspire trust and provide an open atmosphere;
- Reduce anxiety, depression and other mental/emotional problems;
- Prevent mental illness;
- Prevent social/emotional difficulties related to disability or illness;
- Prevent physical, cognitive and neurological problems;
- Acquire awareness on the importance of meditation.
List here the key information of this training module.
- In general the key to transfer is diligence: Practicing for long periods of time and in an absorbed way can cause changes in more than the specific brain network related to the skill. Sustained focus can also produce stronger and more efficient attention networks, and these key networks in turn affect cognitive skills more generally.
- Art therapy improves the quality of life in dementia patients and eases burden for those with chronic health conditions. For dementia patients, creating art enhances cognitive abilities and memory, in addition to aiding symptoms of depression and anxiety. Physician Dr. Arnold Bresky has used art therapy to help those with dementia and Alzheimer’s, citing a 70% success rate in improving his patients’ memories.
- Increasingly, researchers have emphasized meditation- and mindfulness-based approaches for the training of attention. Meditation-based trainings have been shown to temper transient lapses in attention that disrupt ongoing task performance and improve individuals’ ability to sustain attention over time.
Società Cooperativa Fuori dal Sommerso
Choose up to 3 key words and explain them.
Cognitive enhancement: Cognitive enhancement refers to interventions in the brain that improve attention, concentration, and information processing in executive functions such as reasoning and decision-making.
Mozart Effect: More generally, the term refers to the possibility that listening to certain types of music enhances inherent cognitive functioning. Apart from the neurological research on this effect, some experts propose an arousal theory perspective, such that listening to music heightens emotional levels that correspond to higher performance on intelligence tests.
Art therapy: The use of artistic methods to treat psychological disorders and enhance mental health is known as art therapy. Art therapy is a technique rooted in the idea that creative expression can foster healing and mental well-being.
CEREBRUM, Dana Foundation, How arts Training Improves Attention and Cognition, https://www.dana.org/article/how-arts-training-improves-attention-and-cognition/
Michael I. Posner, Ph.D., Brenda Patoine, How Arts Training Improves Attention and Cognition, 2009 https://www.researchgate.net/publication/255655328_How_Arts_Training_Improves_Attention_and_Cognition/link/53d6430f0cf2a7fbb2ea97be/download
Invaluable, The Benefits of Art on Memory and Creativity, https://www.invaluable.com/blog/benefits-of-art/
L’Arteterapia: efficacia, efficienza e sostenibilità in Italia e all’estero, ISTUD, http://service.istud.it/up_media/pw_scienziati/arteterapia.pdf
7 Motivi Perché Fotografare fa Bene alla Salute, https://www.fotografiamoderna.it/fotografare-salute/
Tim Newman, is meditation the answer to cognitive decline?, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321424
Anthony P. Zanesco, Brandon G. King, Katherine A. MacLean & Clifford D. Saron,
Cognitive Aging and Long-Term Maintenance of Attentional Improvements Following Meditation Training, Journal of Cognitive Enshancement https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s41465-018-0068-1