Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Art as an Aphrodisiac


Move over chocolate! Art is the new aphrodisiac, as discovered in a recent study at the University College London. Professor Semir Zeki, a neurobiologist at the university, scanned volunteers’ brains as they looked at a series of 28 paintings. The study found that viewing art releases dopamine into the orbito-frontal cortex of the brain. Dopamine is that chemical associated with feelings of love, contentment, and happiness.
Of the artists surveyed, Botticelli and Claude Monet elicited the most blood flow to areas of the brain usually associated with romantic love and the release of dopamine. According to the Telegraph,
The research suggests that art could be used to increase the welfare and mental health of the general public and should be protected from budget cutbacks.

Bathers at La Grenouillere by Claude Monet and The Birth of Venus by Botticelli are two of the artworks used by researchers to study the effect of art on the brain. Simonetta Vespucci, the model for The Birth of Venus, was said to be the most beautiful woman of the 15th century! She was often a subject of Botticelli’s works. Bathers at La Grenouillere is but one of a series of paintings Claude Monet (and his fellow Impressionists, such as Renoir) rendered of the famous “frog pond,” next in line perhaps to his water lily series.
A trip to a local art museum or hanging a rendition of one of these famous works is a wonderful surprise for your beloved. Science proves it!

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