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YOUR BRAIN ON ART: How the Arts Transform Us
by Susan Magsamen and Ivy Ross

YOUR BRAIN ON ART: How the Arts Transform Us by Susan Magsamen and Ivy Ross

240 pages,16-page color photo insert and black and white illustrations throughout

An exhilarating and mind-bending book on the new science of neuroaesthetics that explores what happens in our brains and bodies when we engage with art, and how an understanding of these processes can help us dramatically improve our mental and physical health and our communities.

Researchers are now proving what artists have always known: art in all its forms enhances health, wellbeing, learning, and flourishing.

We are very happy to share this fascinating book, YOUR BRAIN ON ART, both a journey of discovery and an authoritative guide to the new science of aesthetics, neuroaesthetics. The founder of the Arts & Mind Lab at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Susan Magsamen, with Google designer, Ivy Ross, explain how, by understanding the way we biologically react to aesthetic experiences, we can not only heal as individuals but thrive as communities.

The book consists of breakthrough research, insights from multidisciplinary pioneers, and compelling stories from people who are using the arts to enhance physical and mental well-being. The science is undeniably cool, engaging in the arts triggers the release of neurochemicals, hormones, and endorphins that offer an emotional release, so watching a ballet, listening to your favorite music, gazing at a Manet, dancing up a storm, or engaging in other art forms, can go beyond mere distraction or enjoyment, but can actual change our lives in a practical way, even daily. Becoming aware of what your own likes and dislikes are and better understanding of how you are affected by your encounters with the arts, helps you learn how to apply your own perceptual preferences to all areas of your life.

YOUR BRAIN ON ART provides the larger picture too, clearly demonstrating the real-world value of public art. Yes, it’s for readers of books such as THE BRAIN THAT CHANGES ITSELF, MUSICOPHILIA, and THIS IS YOUR BRAIN ON MUSIC, but we think the readership has the potential to go much wider as well.

Susan Magsamen is the founder and director of the International Arts + Mind Lab Center for Applied Neuroaesthetics at the Brain Science Institute of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine where she is a faculty member in the department of neurology. She has worked in both the public and private sectors on projects addressing early childhood development, physical and mental health, playful learning, workforce innovation, family engagement, aging, creativity, social justice, and under-resourced communities through the lens of the arts.

Ivy Ross is the vice president of hardware design at Google. Drawing on her background in wide-ranging fields including sound therapy,quantum physics, psychology, and play, Ivy leads a team that has won more than 140 design awards. Insider recently named her one of the 15 Most Powerful Women at Google.