Researchers study 2,092 paintings from careers of 7 famous artists.
London: Analysing a person’s painting strokes may help detect the risk of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, a new study suggests. Researchers from University of Liverpool, UK, studied 2,092 paintings from the careers of seven famous artists who experienced both normal ageing and neurodegenerative disorders.
Of the seven, two had suffered from Parkinson’s disease (Salvador Dali and Norval Morrisseau), two had suffered from Alzheimer’s disease (James Brooks and Willem De Kooning) and three had no recorded neurodegenerative disorders (Marc Chagall, Pablo Picasso and Claude Monet). The brushstrokes of each of the paintings were analysed using a method of applying non-traditional mathematics to patterns known as Fractal analyses to identify complex geometric patterns. Fractals are mathematical characterisations of self-repeating patterns, often described as ‘fingerprints of nature’. They can be found in natural phenomena such as clouds, snowflakes, trees, rivers and mountains. This method has also been used to determine the authenticity of works of art.
Although painters work within a different style or genre, the fractal dimension in which they operate should remain comparable. The results were examined to see if the variations in an artist’s unique ‘fractals’ in their work over their career were due to them just increasing in age or because of ongoing cognitive deterioration. The study showed clear patterns of change in the fractal dimension of the paintings differentiated artists who suffered neurological deterioration from those ageing normally.
THE FAMOUS 7