A growing body of research is probing art's effects on the brain. DrAfter123/Getty Images
To make sense of difficult science, Michael Kofi Esson often turns to art.
When he's struggling to understand the immune system or a rare disease, music and poetry serve as an anchor."It helps calm me down and actively choose what to focus on," says Esson, a second-year student at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Esson, who was born in Ghana, also thinks his brain is better at absorbing all that science because of the years he spent playing the trumpet and studying Afrobeat musicians like Fela Kuti.