The brain is being studied in many ways, and some of the the most exciting findings have to do with the arts. Eric Kandel, author of "The Age of Insight: The Quest to Understand the Unconscious in Art, Mind and Brain from Vienna 1900 to the Present" has studied the art of portraiture and how we respond to facial expressions -- even in caricatures and cartoons. He's a fascinating, insightful scientist!
I've also wondered about the way the arts play a role in human life -- individually and community-wise. I've personally observed how the arts are an exercise of the senses -- and are pressed up against the emotions of communications and the logic of craft. Together, this complex elegance results in tremendous freedom of expression, joy and beauty as perceived by others' whose brain is attuned to appreciating the arts through the exercise of their senses, communications and craft.
Enjoy Eric Kandel's discussion of what he has learned about the brain during his long creative and scientific career.