Friday, May 13, 2016

Week 7

The brain is the control center for our entire body. It regulates breathing, understands pain, and can comprehend the impossible. The science to start understanding the brain started with Franz Gall who founded the idea of Phrenology. According to The Victorian Web, “In the nineteenth-century, it was believed that by examining the shape and unevenness of a head or skull, one could discover the development of the particular cerebral "organs" responsible for different intellectual aptitudes and character traits” (The History of Phrenology). The theory was the start in examining he different parts of the brain. However since then many advances in technology has allowed neuroscientists to really research the brain eventually disprove Phrenology.
In art, many artists have pushed the boundaries of “expanding the mind” to create their work. It was popular among many writers and artists in the 60s, such as Ken Kesey who wrote One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Most recently a French artist drew self portraits of herself under the effects of LSD. LSD is a drug that causes hallucinations and turns off the part of the brain that constrains consciousness, allowing free flow of thought (Medical Daily). Looking at her self portraits it is interesting to see the mental effects of LSD on the brain transferred to paper. The mind seems more fluid and colorful under the influence. The US government also partook in experiments whereas drugs affect the mind. For example, in the late 1950s an artist was given a tab of LSD with pencil and paper to draw the medic. In the beginning his drawings were more straight lines and were able to see a face. Soon the drugs started to take effect and at around 2 hours and 45 minutes his drawings were much more abstract until the come down, 8 hours later. 


In conclusion, the brain is a very complex organ and with the advancements in technology it has taught us many new things about the brain. When under the influence of drugs, the brain is able to open up more to believe the illogical is logical.  Otherwise it is the center of our creativity and processing, together the brain gives us the ability to survive.\
Van Wyhe, John. "The History of Phrenology." The History of Phrenology. 2000. Web. 13 May 2016.
Olson, Samantha. "How LSD Really Affects Your Mind And Body." Medical Daily. IBT Media Inc, 2014. Web. 13 May 2016.
Vesna, Victoria. Lecture. “Conscious / Memory (Part 2).” 13 May 2016.
"Watch What Happens When a Portrait Artist Takes LSD." YouTube. Google, 14 Oct. 2010. Web. 13 May 2016.
Emner. Phrenology. 2006. Mind Games. Skeptic Report. Web. 13 May 2016.

Vermeleun, Christiaan. Neuroscience. 2016. Association for Talent Development. Web. 13 May 2016.


  1. I found your blog very interesting and insightful to read. I especially enjoyed the video you included. It was intriguing to see how LSD can truly affect a person's perceptions of everyday living and of art. I find it fascinating that the nervous system can be so dramatically influenced by drugs, and that they can cause people to see, feel, and think about things in a very different manner.

  2. I found what you talked about very interesting because I love the fact that I get chills every time when I hear about how important the brain is for our survival and how we interact on the everyday basis. The fact that our brain basically is the reason why we are creative and we think the way we do is because of this powerful organ which is very complex like you said and that is what makes our body that much more interesting because with it we have the ability to create our creativity through whatever we enjoy doing.

  3. Hi Kelsey!
    I enjoyed reading the section about the French artist using drugs to explore art more! I made a similar reference in my post referencing Bryan Saunders who produced the more well-known concentration of pieces under different drug influences, and also the more recent digital works created by Brian Pollett which convey 20 different drugs' influences.

    Brian Pollett's work here: