Art and neuroscience. New paintings explore the Stroop Effect

 My new paintings explore the Stroop Effect.

They demonstrate that the brain’s reaction time slows down when it has to deal with conflicting information, for example, if the name of a colour, say “RED” is printed in different colour, say blue.

When a word’s meaning is combined with distracting information, such as a colour, two different regions of the brain are stimulated. The right side of the brain automatically decodes letters and reads the word. The left consciously analyses the colour.

So, when you are asked to read the colour (active) rather than the word (passive), the brain becomes conflicted – the interfering data of the word slows down your response time; relying on the anterior cingulate to choose the correct visual cue to base your answer on.

Similar tests are used clinically to assess brain damage, dementia and the effects of altitude on Everest climbers.

Is this art? Or pseudoscience-art? Or just plain crap? I think it’s probably the latter.

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