ABSTRACT

This chapter summarizes the neuroscience evidence to date that art activities can produce a relaxed meditative state or an alert cognitive orientation. Particularly due to its parallels with large-scale brain networks (LSBNs) in cognition, the Expressive Therapies Continuum provides a model for conceptualizing the general neurological framework for the use of art therapy as well as the individualization of treatment options. The chapter describes the three main LSBNs in cognition and explores similarities with the ETC. A case study illustrates that disrupted functioning within or between LSBNs can potentially be addressed through art therapy. Although the field of art therapy is in its infancy as far as understanding the neuroscience underlying the use of art media to form visual expression, the Expressive Therapies Continuum is poised to be an important framework in understanding the neuroscience underpinnings of these research efforts.