About the project


We are an international team of neuroscientists, doctors, and art therapists.

We are funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF-der Wissenschaftsfond, #ConnectingMinds) to work on questions like:

  • How does an artist make art and how is the artistic spark anchored in the brain?
  • Why does Parkinson’s disease possibly have an answer to this?
  • And how can creativity and art help to support individuals with Parkinson’s disease and to understand Parkinson’s disease itself?




Our motivation

Creating art is an essential part of human communication with high importance for culture, psychology and the neurosciences. We still do not know how the artistic or creative lifestyle and/or brain differs from a less creative lifestyle and/or brain. Another open question is why some people live out their creative capabilities and others might not.

Parkinson’s disease is the fastest growing neurodegenerative disease worldwide, in which a specific neuro-chemical messenger, dopamine, is no longer produced in the brain. Researchers suspect that dopamine is an essential factor in developing the ability to think creatively and create impressive artwork. Over the last 20 years, case studies have reported that people with Parkinson’s disease may change their way of making art or their artistic interests. Especially, once diagnosed and on medication, some people may show a renewed interest in producing art, their art may improve or change in style, or some may even begin to be creative and create art for the first time in their life. On the other hand, some people may show opposite or no effects. Why the creative behavior changes so much or not at all in these people is not yet clear.

Our Mission

  • We study healthy people and Parkinson’s patients to understand how Parkinson’s disease, art, and drugs might be neurobiologically interrelated.
  • We try to stimulate the creative network in the healthy brain with ultrasound and drugs.
  • We also investigate why Parkinson’s patients show creative-artistic changes, how their brains differ and how this knowledge can be translated into clinical application and therapy.
  • We will start creativity-based art therapy with patients to help them regain or find for the first time their individual creativity. Our goal is to establish a specialized therapy center with that focus in Austria.

Our project in brief

This short videos gives gives you a quick overview of our approach.

Project Funding

The project is funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) under grant agreement CM 1100-B (University of Vienna, FW220001)
Connecting Minds Grant, Funding Period: 01.06.2022-31.05.2027

Host Institutions