IAM Lab News and Stories

  • In a Time of Stress, Neuroaesthetic Spaces and Places Create a Path to Healing and Hope

    An indoor neuroaesthetic space

    As workers report back to the office, children again fill classrooms, and all of us sort through the pandemic-induced trauma and stress of the past two years, it’s helpful to remember what humans across cultures have long recognized: Art and beauty go a long way to improve our mental health. During the COVID era, years […]

  • How Dance Can Relieve Stress and Help Us Reconnect With Community During COVID-19

    A joyful woman dancing on blue background

    As mental health issues increased in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic, interest in art-making has also expanded — offering ways for us to creatively cope with the new uncertainty and restrictions of daily life. While some unprecedented health effects of isolation and lockdowns, such as PTSD and loneliness, have emerged during COVID, so […]

  • Hopkins Releases Scoping Review on “Setting” for Psychedelic Experience and Launches Multi-Institutional Collaboration

    Psychedelic and vibrant colors and shapes

    As research grows, interest also continues to rise in psychedelic therapies as treatments for addiction and mental health conditions, including PTSD and depression. But how does the “set and setting” of a psychedelic experience affect the experience of patients receiving these treatments?  A scoping review published in 2022 from the International Arts + Mind Lab […]

  • Redesigning the Office to Support Brain Health

    With the pandemic stretching into a third year, employers are scrambling to reconfigure how and where work gets done, with more businesses returning to in-person following years of Zoom meetings and remote setups. Compared with the creature comforts and convenience of working from home, office life can appear less attractive to some. After all, at […]

  • Do You See What I See? IAM Lab Launches Investigation Into the Pareidolia Phenomenon

    Human faces don’t normally belong on clouds or slices of toast. Potatoes are not seals. And peppers don’t usually look like they need a little hug. But the human mind has a tendency to perceive something as significant or meaningful, even if what we actually see or hear is vague or ambiguous. And looking at […]

  • The Neuroscience of Music and Parkinson’s Disease

    As anyone who has ever heard “their song” can attest, the right music has the power to make you move. Now, healthcare providers are trying to harness this power to help patients with a disabling neurological motor disorder, Parkinson’s disease (PD). Over the past three decades, researchers have begun to uncover the neural basis of […]

  • The Mental Health Benefits of Reading

    Despite recent controversies over which books should line the shelves of schools and libraries, there is little debate that literature expands the mind. But can the act of reading also improve our mental health and wellbeing? Researchers are investigating the impact of reading experiences and reporting evidence of promising mental and social health benefits. Whether […]

  • Neuroarts: An Emerging Field With a Plan to Transform Health

    Artists across cultures and throughout history have long recognized what scientific research has only recently been able to confirm: The arts are essential to our ability to heal and thrive. The emerging field of neuroarts studies how the arts and aesthetic experiences change the brain, body, and behavior – and how this knowledge can be […]

  • A Citywide Reading Program Connects Youth Through Literature and Safe Dialogue About Violence

    As the writer Maya Angelou once said: “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” Previous research has found that reading and writing literature can help people express themselves and reduce the stigma and isolation surrounding sensitive subjects and experiences. A new study published in the Journal of Community Psychology from […]

  • Boosting Vaccine Confidence With the Arts

    The rapid development of safe and effective vaccines against the novel coronavirus is a remarkable feat of scientific achievement. And it’s our best shot for getting through a global pandemic. But having the vaccine is not enough if not everyone is confident enough to take it. As of September 2021, roughly 180 million Americans are […]