Stephanie Lewkiewicz, Temple University
Authors: Stephanie Lewkiewicz
2022 AWM Research Symposium
Women, Art, and Mathematics (WAAM)

Aesthetic experiences—that is, the creation, consumption, and appreciation of art and aesthetic stimuli—are as fundamental to our human existence as eating, sleeping, and breathing. Moreover, they are intrinsically linked to our physical and mental health, with art-based therapies and interventions demonstrating a significant capacity to ameliorate a wide array of illnesses, injuries, and traumas. The emerging field of neuroarts aims to develop a mechanistic understanding of the change art effects to our bodies and minds, and utilize that insight to design effective art-based therapeutic practices. In this talk, we will review existing experimental and modeling insight into the neural activity associated with artistic experiences and the observed health benefits of various artistic interventions. We will then explore new avenues for the development of full-system mathematical models that quantify brain activity during artistic experiences, downstream effects on other bodily systems, and the measurable health and wellness outcomes they produce. Finally, we will discuss the potential for applied mathematics to take a lead role in the effort of this new and groundbreaking field to employ art therapy to treat physical and mental health disorders.

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