Academy of Psychology and Pedagogy, Southern Federal University, Rostov-on-Don, Russia.
The steadily increasing demand for artistic professions brings to the fore the task of studying the phenomenon of art by researching the unique capacity of the human brain to create works of art in different spheres of creative activity. So far, only a few studies have investigated creativity-related brain activity in representatives of the creative professions. The aim of the empirical research was to study the neurophysiological correlates of artistic image creation by representatives of the artistic professions. The participants were 60 right-handed females aged 23-27, divided into three groups— artists (23 people), actors (17 people), and specialists who do not work in an artistic field (20 people). The mono-typing technique was used to model the creative artistic process. EEG signals were recorded in a resting state, and during four stages of the creation of an artistic image (viewing of monotypes, frustration, image creation, and thinking over the details) from 21 electrodes set on the scalp according to the International 10-20 System. We analyzed EEG coherence for each functional trial at theta (4.00–8.00 Hz), alpha1 (8.00–10.5 Hz), alpha2 (10.5–13.00 Hz), and beta (13.00– 35.00 Hz) frequency bands. For statistical analysis, we used MANOVA and post hoc analysis. We found that the neurophysiological correlates of creating an artistic image are different at different stages of the creative process, and have different features for artists and actors. The actors primarily show dominance of right hemisphere activity, while close interaction of the hemispheres distinguishes the brains of the artists. The differences revealed in brain cortex functioning when artists or actors create an artistic image reflect different strategies of imaginative creative work by representatives of these professions.
Keywords: brain hemispheres, cortex, EEG, coherence, frequency band, art, artistic image
Background: Notwithstanding all the different forms of art, the source of the creative process, its initial impulse, is an artistic image, and its creation is closely connected with the imagination. L. Vygotsky held the view that artistic creativity has great importance in overall development. In this regard, it is relevant to study the role of personal psychological characteristics that stimulate creativity, determine creative potential, and indicate personal predisposition to artistic activity.
Objective: to study individual psychological characteristics of art specialists with a highly productive creative imagination.
Design: There were 240 respondents: art specialists (artists, actors) and specialists who do not work in artistic fields. The empirical research included: assessment of the level of productivity of the creative imagination and psychological testing. All the participants, within the bounds of their profession, were divided into high productivity and low productivity groups. The productivity level of the creative imagination was assessed by expert judgment of art works made by the participants using a monotype technique. For psychological testing, the following methods were used: Freiburg Personality Inventory (FPI); Volitional Self-Control Inventory by A. Zverkov and E. Eidman; the “Choose the Side” test by E. Torrance; the “Unfinished Figures” subtest by E. Torrance; and the technique of pair comparisons by V. Skvortsov. Statistical data processing was conducted on the basis of percentage distribution and comparative analysis using the Student parametric t-test. We used STATISTICA 13.0 software.
Results: We found the following psychological characteristics of art specialists with highly productive creative imagination: high emotionality, inclination to affective reactions, high anxiety and excitability, and need for self-realization. Artists with highly productive creative imagination were characterized by immersion in their own emotions, psychic estrangement, high sensitivity, flexibility, ingenuity, right-hemisphere and combined types of thinking, and a high level of nonverbal creativity. Actors with highly productive creative imagination were characterized by stability, relaxation, selfsatisfaction, and average nonverbal creativity; the mixed type of thinking predominated in this group.
Conclusion: The differences in the intensity of the psychological characteristics of representatives of these different professional groups may be determined by the level of productivity of their creative imagination. We discovered general and specific (depending on professional activity) psychological characteristics of art specialists with a high level of productivity of the creative imagination.
Keywords: artists, actors, creative imagination, monotype, volitional regulation, type of thinking, creativity