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Article

Creativity, Eye-Movement Abnormalities, and Aesthetic Appreciation of Magritte’s Paintings

IRIS Lab, Neurophysiology of Binocular Motor Control and Vision, CNRS UAR 2022 Neurosciences, UFR Biomedical, University of Paris, 45 Rue des Saints Pères, 75006 Paris, France
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Uwe Ilg
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(8), 1028; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12081028
Received: 11 June 2022 / Revised: 19 July 2022 / Accepted: 26 July 2022 / Published: 3 August 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eye Movements to Evaluate and Treat Attention Deficits)
Dyslexic children have been shown to be more creative than their non-dyslexic counterparts. They have also been shown to have an abnormal oculomotor profile while viewing targets in free space, making vergence or saccadic eye movements while reading or when viewing Op art. They show a slower deceleration of their eye movements and a difficulty in coordinating their two eyes to obtain single fused vision in depth. Interestingly, their abnormal oculo-motor profile is exacerbated while reading more difficult texts. Given these differences, we postulate that dyslexics’ increased creativity may be related to their different eye movement control affecting how they perceive the world. Therefore, we decided to measure adolescent dyslexics’ creativity, oculomotor profile, and subjective responses while they viewed three paintings by Magritte. These were chosen to stimulate the perception of hidden conceptual spaces or stimulate conflict between the perception of the figural and textural content. For the first time to our knowledge, dyslexic adolescents were demonstrated to be more creative in terms of flexibility and fluidity than their non-dyslexic peers. Subjectively, while viewing the Magritte paintings, dyslexics reported fewer conceptual spaces and fewer hidden words than their non-dyslexic peers; thus, they confabulated less than non-dyslexics. Dyslexics also demonstrated an abnormal oculomotor profile similar to those that we have shown when reading, viewing randomized targets, and while perceiving illusions of depth in Op art paintings, in that they demonstrated difficulty with disconjugation and abnormalities in their eye velocity profiles. We propose there may be a link between dyslexic increased creativity and their eye movement abnormalities. Similar to reading nonsense text, we propose that Magritte’s contradictory paintings exacerbate dyslexics’ eye movement abnormalities. These eye movement abnormalities while viewing these particular paintings might provide a physiological signature suggesting a contribution of their unusual eye control to their higher creativity scores. View Full-Text
Keywords: saccades; vergence; eye movements; surrealism; Magritte; art; dyslexia; creativity saccades; vergence; eye movements; surrealism; Magritte; art; dyslexia; creativity
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ward, L.M.; Kapoula, Z. Creativity, Eye-Movement Abnormalities, and Aesthetic Appreciation of Magritte’s Paintings. Brain Sci. 2022, 12, 1028. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12081028

AMA Style

Ward LM, Kapoula Z. Creativity, Eye-Movement Abnormalities, and Aesthetic Appreciation of Magritte’s Paintings. Brain Sciences. 2022; 12(8):1028. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12081028

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ward, Lindsey M, and Zoi Kapoula. 2022. "Creativity, Eye-Movement Abnormalities, and Aesthetic Appreciation of Magritte’s Paintings" Brain Sciences 12, no. 8: 1028. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12081028

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