Art and Alzheimer’s - A joint event between The McGill Society of Montreal and the Montreal Neurological Institute
Speaker: Alan C. Evans
Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Psychiatry and Biomedical Engineering
Co-Director, Ludmer Centre
Speaker: AmanPreet Badhwar, PhD
McGill Graduate, Neuroscientist, and Artist
Host: Dr. Sridar Narayanan
Abstract: Visual art can provide a glimpse into people’s consciousness. It works as a bridge, not only connecting us to each other, but also with the past, present, and future. The act of creating art is also therapeutic, and represents a powerful resource for mental and physical well-being. Yet, the mechanisms underlying the brain’s capacity to generate art remains largely elusive. While it has been commonly reported that the right brain (posterior parietal and posterior temporal) is dominant for artistic ability, emerging literature strongly indicates that the left-brain is not a silent partner. Instead, it contributes to more of the symbolic/conceptual aspects of art. Moreover, the emergence of visual artistic skills in the healthy brain has been linked to structural changes in areas (in both hemispheres) responsible for cognitive processes. Which begs the question: how is visual artistic creativity affected by neurodegeneration?
Biography: This evening will feature not one, but two distinguished speakers. First, Alan C. Evans, James McGill Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Psychiatry and Biomedical Engineering, will give a short, accessible lecture on brain imaging in dementia research. Next, Dr. AmanPreet Badhwar, McGill graduate, neuroscientist and artist, will present how art in the context of neurodegenerative diseases (in particular, Alzheimer’s disease) provides a unique window into brain anatomy and function.