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Fractal Geometry does it again! Happy to see fractal analysis being implemented as both a data mining and analysis tool.

A new University of Liverpool (1) study published in Neuropsychology! (2) indicates that it may be possible to detect Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative disorders in artists before they are diagnosed.

The abstract (2, 3) of What paint can tell us: A fractal analysis of neurological changes in seven artists. and authored by Forsythe, Alex; Williams, Tamsin; Reilly, Ronan G.
Neuropsychology, Vol 31(1), Jan 2017, 1-10 states and quote:

“Can age-indexed variations in the fractal dimension of the works of artists anticipate specific cognitive deteriorations?

Method: To answer this question we analysed age-related variations in the fractal dimension of a large corpus of digital images (n = 2092) of work created by seven notable artists who experienced both normal ageing and neurodegenerative disorders.

Results: The results of our analysis showed that patterns of change in the fractal dimension of the paintings differentiated artists who suffered neurological deterioration from those of normal aging controls.

Conclusions: These findings are of importance for two reasons. Our work adds to studies that demonstrate that fractal analysis has the potential to determine the provenance of paintings. Secondly, our work suggests that may be possible to identify a-typical changes in the structure of an artist’s work; changes that may be early indicators of the onset of neurological deterioration.”

End of the quote.


1. https://news.liverpool.ac.uk/2016/12/29/can-paint-strokes-help-identify-alzheimers/
2. http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/neu/31/1/1/
3. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/neu0000303