Background: Two professional painters experienced significant changes in their art as the main consequence of minor stroke located in the left occipital lobe or thalamus.
Methods: The features of this artistic conversion were analysed on the basis of extensive neurological, neuropsychological, and psychiatric evaluations.
Results: Both painters, initially unaware of the artistic changes, exhibited mild signs of executive dysfunction, but no general cognitive decline. The first painter, who showed mild visual-perceptive difficulties (dyschromatopsia and scotoma in his right upper visual field after left occipital stroke), together with increased anxiety and difficulty in emotional control, switched to a more stylised and symbolic art. The second painter, who also presented features of emotionalism related to his left latero-thalamic stroke, switched from an impressionist style to a more joyous and geometric, but more simplistic, abstract art.
Conclusions: These findings show that mild cognitive and affective modifications due to focal posterior brain lesions can have significant repercussions on artistic expression.
- DEX, Dysexecutive Questionnaire
- MMSE, Mini Mental State Evaluation
- PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder
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This work was supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (grant nos. 3151AO-102271 to JM Annoni and 3200-061342.00 to J Bogousslavsky) and by the Biaggi Foundation
Competing interests: none declared
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