The impact of viewing and making art on verbal fluency and memory in people with dementia in an art gallery setting

Young, Rhea, Tischler, V., Hulbert, S. and Camic, Paul M. (2015) The impact of viewing and making art on verbal fluency and memory in people with dementia in an art gallery setting. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts. ISSN 1931-3896.


Download (331kB)


Dementia is a progressive disease characterized by a widespread impairment of mental functioning including cognitive skills. Research has suggested that the arts can have positive effects in terms of physical and mental health for people with a dementia. The present study sought to identify the impact of art-making and art-viewing activities, within the context of a publicly accessible art gallery, on verbal fluency and memory. Thirteen participants diagnosed with early to mid-stage dementia participated, along with their caregivers, in 8-week long art-viewing and art-making groups at an art gallery in the United Kingdom. Audio recordings of sessions were transcribed and analysed using quantitative content analysis. Findings suggested that the interventions described did not negatively affect cognitive ability in the dimensions measured and the data hints that improvements are possible. The results provide support for further controlled studies examining the impact of visual art, aesthetics, and art gallery-based programmes on cognition in people with dementia. Further research is required to address the methodological limitations presented in the current study.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Visual arts; dementia; cognition; language; art gallery; aesthetics
Subjects: A General Works > AM Museums (General). Collectors and collecting (General) > AM0111 Museology. Museum methods, technique, etc.
N Fine Arts > N Visual arts
N Fine Arts > N Visual arts > N0400 Art museums, galleries, etc.
Q Science > QP Physiology > QP0351 Neurophysiology and neuropsychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0435 Psychiatry > RC0512 Psychopathology. Mental disorders > RC0521 Dementia
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0435 Psychiatry > RC0467 Clinical psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > School of Psychology, Politics and Sociology > Salomons Centre for Applied Psychology
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Prof Paul M Camic
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2015 12:15
Last Modified: 23 Jan 2016 14:38

Actions (login required)

Update Item (CReaTE staff only) Update Item (CReaTE staff only)


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics


Connect with us

Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00