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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

Cognitive psychology meets art: exploring creativity, language, and emotion through live musical improvisation in film and theatre
Author(s): Mónica López-González

Paper Abstract

Creativity is primarily defined as a mental phenomenon that engages multiple cognitive processes to generate novel and useful solutions to problems. There are two core problem-solving modes: long-term deliberate methodical vs. short-term spontaneous. Despite behavioral models integrating the multiple activities (e.g. technical and financial issues, emotional responses) arising within and the socio-cultural effects surrounding the long-term creative process in various artistic disciplines, no systematic study exists of short-term improvisatory behavior in response to emotional stimuli within such ecologically valid contexts as film and theatre. In this paper I present and discuss the novel use of one cinematic and one theatrical project that investigate spontaneous creative thinking and emotion perception, particularly as it pertains to in the moment expressive translation of emotional scenic variables such as actors’ movements and dialogue to musical language. Both projects explore the six universal human emotions (anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, surprise) and were performed and recorded with live improvised music by professional jazz musicians. Combining visual scene analysis with musical feature analysis of the improvised scores, I propose a cognitive feedback model of spontaneous creative emotional innovation that integrates music, spoken language, and emotional expression within the context of live music scoring in both film and theatre. This work also serves as an appeal towards more arts-based cognitive research and interdisciplinary methods in the study of human intelligence.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 April 2015
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 9394, Human Vision and Electronic Imaging XX, 939403 (2 April 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2083880
Show Author Affiliations
Mónica López-González, La Petite Noiseuse Productions (United States)
Maryland Institute College of Art (United States)
Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9394:
Human Vision and Electronic Imaging XX
Bernice E. Rogowitz; Thrasyvoulos N. Pappas; Huib de Ridder, Editor(s)

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