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Professor Andrew Parker has recently published an article in the journal, Frontiers for Young Minds, entitled 'Fakes and Forgeries in the Brain Scanner'.

Frontiers for Young Minds is part of the Frontier stable of journals and provides a collection of freely available scientific articles by distinguished scientists that are shaped for younger audiences by the input of their own young peers. 

Andrew's article for the journal, which translates his original research article published in 2011 in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, into terms accessible for young people, explores how the brain responds differently to famous pieces of artwork if the person is told that the artwork is a 'fake'. 

Looking at portrait paintings by the famous Dutch artist Rembrandt, people in the study were told that the paintings were authentic and then were told that the paintings were not genuine, and an MRI scan analysed the brain responses. 

Firstly, Andrew and his colleagues found that when people were told the image was 'authentic', their orbitofrontal cortex became active, the part of the brain that responds when we feel that something is rewardable or pleasurable.

Secondly, they interestingly noticed that there was no difference in the brain responses between viewing a genuine Rembrandt painting and a copy.

Thirdly, they found that the frontopolar cortex, the part of the brain involved in problem-solving, became active when subjects were told that they were looking at a fake Rembrandt, and that its activity was linked to the activity in the visual parts of the brain, the occipital cortex.

Coincidentally, the Italian translation of Andrew's original research article was completed recently and will appear in the next issue of the Nodes Magazine.

There is also a focused review article that Andrew wrote, 'Revealing Rembrandt', and he shall eventually have a chapter on the subject in Geraldine Johnson's new multi-author work 'A Companion to the Theories and Methods of Art History'.

For more information on Frontiers for Young Minds, visit their website

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