REVIEWInsights into brain function through the examination of art: the influence of neurodegenerative diseasesKleiner-Fisman, GalitCA; Lang, Anthony E.1Author Information Parkinson's Disease Research, Education and Clinical Center (PADRECC), Philadelphia VA Hospital, University of Pennsylvania, 3900 Woodland Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA 1Morton and Gloria Shulman Movement Disorders Center, Toronto Western Hospital, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada CACorresponding Author: [email protected] Received 28 November 2003; accepted 13 January 2004 NeuroReport: April 29th, 2004 - Volume 15 - Issue 6 - p 933-937 Buy Abstract There has been intense interest in determining how the visual brain processes the outside world, and in identifying the neuroanatomical correlates of the ability to create art. Comparing art production before and after illness onset permits some speculation on the function of selective brain regions affected by the neurodegenerative process. In this review of cases of neurodegenerative illness in visual artists, the evolution of abstraction may be argued to either reflect an enhancement of previous skills or, that the emergence of abstraction, when it was previously absent, is a manifestation of cognitive and visuo-spatial decline. We present examples of each, illustrating both perspectives and suggest that the two opposing views may not be mutually exclusive. © 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.