Research Topic

The Psychological and Physiological Benefits of the Arts

About this Research Topic

The arts are used in multiple ways; as performance, in education, and in the community. The arts are applied in clinical and healthcare settings, in prisons, and rehabilitation centers within and outside of a therapy frame. The work can have an intentional or accidental impact on people's wellbeing, and ...

The arts are used in multiple ways; as performance, in education, and in the community. The arts are applied in clinical and healthcare settings, in prisons, and rehabilitation centers within and outside of a therapy frame. The work can have an intentional or accidental impact on people's wellbeing, and effects can be immediate and longer-term. Both psychological and physiological benefits are possible, but these are not always sufficiently explored or appropriately documented.

Recent publications in the use of the arts for enhancing wellbeing, published by the Oxford University Press, for example, suggest that there is a growing interest in exploring this topic. This interest comes in response to conceptual shifts that highlight and value embodied cognition and embodied emotion. It is also supported by neuroscientific research that has turned its attention to exploring the impact of the arts on human physiology and brain functioning next to a wider acknowledgment of the potential contribution the arts can make to the healing of individuals and communities.

Therefore, this Research Topic aims to respond to this growing area of interest, bringing together researchers in the arts from all disciplines including music, visual arts, dance and drama/theatre. It also aims to cover a range of domains from performance and therapeutic performance to applied forms of the arts such as community arts, arts and health, arts in education and arts in prisons as well as arts therapies including dance movement, music, drama and art therapy. Other creative forms of therapy such as psychodrama and body psychotherapy will also be considered for their potential benefits on participants' psychology and physiology.

Methodologically, the theme will favor high-quality research on diverse methodologies from systematic reviews meta-analyses, RCTs and, laboratory work to in-depth explorations of the topic through qualitative and arts-based research methods. For the papers where creative practice sits at the heart of the research, authors will also be encouraged to include video material and weblinks. For the quantitative pieces, it is expected that papers will include figures and graphs following existing research conventions. In all cases, peer-reviewing will secure the high quality of the publications.


Keywords: Arts, art, dance, drama, theatre, music, psychodrama, dramatherapy, psychotherapy, therapy, psychology, physiology, community, health, applied


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

29 July 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

29 July 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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