Fractal analysis reveals early signs of cognitive decline in paintings

Psychologist Dr Alex Forsythe from the University of Liverpool has examined 2092 paintings of seven famous artists for changes in the fractal dimension in ther paintings as they age.
The analyzed artists were:

  • Salvador Dali and Norval Morrisseau (who suffered from Parkinson’s disease)
  • James Brooks and Willem de Kooning (who suffered from Alzheimers disease)
  • Marc Chagall, Pablo Picasse and Claude Monet (no known cognitive disease)

According to Dr Forsythe changes in the fractal dimension became noticeable when the artists were in their 40ies, long before other signs of the disease could be diagnosed.

Woman 5 – Willem De Kooning (1952)

Though the findings are unlikely to lead to a early test for dementia, it might lead to new approaches in investigating the desease.

Untitled 2 – Willam Kooning (1981)

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