Neuroscience and the Arts

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Many leading researchers and practitioners are studying the widespread interest in how the arts enhance learning outcomes and contribute to the children’s cognitive and social development. Cognitive and neurological sciences studies suggest that children who participate in the arts have advantages in cognitive development and attention for learning. However, until recently, few neuroscientific studies have explored the influence of visual art, music, dance, theater, and creative writing on how children think and learn.

In March, 2008, the Dana Foundation Consortium on Arts and Cognition released a series of studies that advanced our knowledge of the relationship between cognition and the arts and, at the same time, shed light on the need for continued robust research. The release of this report coincides with the growing interest among scientists, educators, parents, educational publishers, and policy-makers to examine how learning can be enhanced through experiences in the arts.

Download a copy of The Dana Consortium Report.

On May 6, 2009, the Neuro-Education Initiative of The Johns Hopkins University School of Education, with support from The Dana Foundation, hosted its inaugural national Learning, Arts, and the Brain (LAB) Summit to explore the intersection of cognitive neuroscience, the arts, and learning. More than 300 educators, scientists, school administrators, and policy makers shared their perspectives on advancing the science of learning through the lens of arts training and its effects on cognition.

Download a copy of The LAB Summit Report.

In preparation for the LAB Summit, the AEMS Alliance convened arts teachers, teaching artists, and teachers trained in arts integration to explore interesting ideas and questions about how the arts engage the mind and brain. A Compilation Report was written to capture the findings from these meetings.

Download a copy of the Compilation Report.

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Governor's Task Force on Arts Education in Maryland Schools Final Report Approved and Released
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