Source: ©2015 Daily Drawing by C. Malchiodi, PhD Expressive arts (art, music, dance/movement, drama, and creative writing) therapies can enhance self-regulation in individuals of all ages who are experiencing distress or reactions from psychological trauma. In particular, the kinesthetic-sensory qualities of art, music and movement that include rhythm, movement, touch, and sound potentially mediate lower brain functions such as heart rate and respiration through specific approaches. Here are just a few ways that expressive arts approaches support self-regulation: Not Just Attunement; It’s “Sensory-Based” Attunement. In any therapy relationship, practitioners meet individuals where they are in their reparation and recovery, responding with both insight (knowing what one feels) and empathy (knowing what others feel). Daniel Siegel refers to this as “mindsight” while others refer to it as attunement, the capacity to recognize non-verbal … [Read more...] about Expressive Arts Therapy and Self-Regulation
Animation and digital arts
Source: © 2016 From the Daily Doodle Journal of Cathy Malchiodi, PhD There are still many areas in the field of art therapy that are in need of investigation. However, studies on how various activities (coloring, doodling and drawing) impact mood and self-regulation continue to emerge; here are three recent studies that add to a growing understanding of these activities’ influence on general well-being: 1) Forkosh and Drake (2017) Coloring Versus Drawing: Effects of Cognitive Demand on Mood Repair, Flow, and Enjoyment. Participants were asked to think of the saddest event that had happened to them and write down a short description of the event; they also were guided through a short visualization that asked them to focus on sensory qualities of the event such as sights, sounds, and feelings. They were then randomly assigned to perform one of three activities: coloring a design, drawing a design or drawing to express the sad event. Positive and negative … [Read more...] about Coloring, Doodling and Drawing: Recent Research
There is continuing controversy about inter-ethnic differences in IQ and why these might exist. One of the most heated areas of debate is what role if any is played by genetic differences between ethnic groups. Richard Lynn (Kanazawa, 2013; Lynn, 1987) proposed that because European and Asian environments feature extremely cold winters the inhabitants of these regions historically faced greater challenges to survival than Africans. He claimed that these survival challenges would have created selection pressures for greater intelligence. Africans on the other hand live in tropical conditions all year round and hence did not need as much intelligence. Lynn (2006) has presented data correlating the intelligence of different ethnic groups with the severity of their winter climates. However, there are some anomalies in his data and the theory itself is based on questionable assumptions. In a recent paper on race differences in penis size, which I have critiqued elsewhere, Lynn (2013) … [Read more...] about Cold Winters and the Evolution of Intelligence
Neuroscientists around the globe agree that physical activity is the best medicine to maintain brain health throughout your lifespan. Why is physical activity so good for your brain? There are many reasons that exercise is good for your brain. These include: increased blood flow, which improves cerebrovascular health; the release of neurotrophic factors like BDNF, which stimulates the growth of new neurons; and the benefits of glucose and lipid metabolism which bring nourishment to the brain. Recently, researchers at the Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign found that physical activity is also associated with improved white matter integrity. In two separate studies—released within the past month—researchers found that physical activity improved the white matter integrity of physically fit children aged 9 to 10 and also in “low fit” participants aged 60 to 78. The researchers found that physical activity … [Read more...] about Why Is Physical Activity So Good for Your Brain?