The physiological response to drawing and Its relation to attention and relaxation
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The main purpose of this study was to analyze the physiological response of participants during a creative activity and compare the results to their physiological response during states of high attention and relaxation. Our interest was not only about the relationship between creativity and attention, but also about the role of valence and arousal. We used heart rate variability (HRV) as our physiological measure. We asked twenty-two participants to undertake three activities: a stroop test; a relaxation activity; and a drawing activity. After each activity, the participants were asked to reflect on their levels of attention, relaxation and enjoyment. The results showed significant physiological differences between the three activities: mean heart rate, F(2, 42) = 8.96, p = 0.001; log-transformed low frequency HRV power, F(1.43, 30.07) = 18.12, p < 0.001; and log-transformed high frequency HRV power, F(2, 42) = 6.25, p = 0.004. Overall, the results suggested that participants had high levels of attention during the drawing activity, with positive valence. The results also suggested that participants’ levels of arousal differed between the three activities. The implications of these results are described in the discussion.
Journal of Behavioral and Brain Science
Loudon, G. and Deininger, G. (2017) 'The Physiological Response to Drawing and Its Relation to Attention and Relaxation', Journal of Behavioral and Brain Science, 7 (3), pp.111-124 doi: 10.4236/jbbs.2017.73011.
This article was published open access in Journal of Behavioral and Brain Science on 6 March 2017 (online), available open access at http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/jbbs.2017.73011
Cardiff Metropolitan University (Grant ID: Cardiff Metropolian (Internal))
- User Centred Design 
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