Can art help you to know and own your emotions? Elizabeth Tracey reports


You’re capable of experiencing tens of thousands of emotions, and art can help you recognize and appreciate them. That’s one hypothesis in a new book called Your Brain on Art, coauthored by Susan Magsamen, director of the Arts+Mind lab at Johns Hopkins.

Magsamen: Whether you’re a maker or a beholder you’re offered a palate of what we now know is over 34,000 feelings that we have so in our lives we don’t often allow ourselves to feel all of the things that we can feel. Society doesn’t really let us do that. And if you have a provocative beholder experience where someone is bringing you something that you never would have experienced, you never would have even thought of, you wouldn’t have created it. I think the beholding experience is so unique and it really allows you to expand your world.  :33

Magsamen says these experiences help humans and human society thrive, not just survive. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.