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Title: Investigating the relationship between involuntary musical imagery and other forms of spontaneous cognition
Author: Floridou, Georgia A.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5993 5054
Awarding Body: Goldsmiths, University of London
Current Institution: Goldsmiths College (University of London)
Date of Award: 2016
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Music can exist without sound. In the absence of sound, the mind can, deliberately or not, recall familiar music or generate novel musical material. The ubiquitous, internal experience of music that comes to the mind unintentionally and repeats itself, known as involuntary musical imagery (INMI), constitutes the focus of the present thesis. The aim of this research was to investigate the relationship between INMI and other forms of spontaneous and creative cognition in order to (a) elucidate the cognitive states preceding INMI, (b) identify individual differences related to spontaneous phenomena, and (c) describe phenomenological aspects of novel INMI. Three studies focused on the connection between INMI and spontaneous cognition. A probe-caught experience sampling and a behavioral study showed that the cognitive states associated with INMI occurrence are related to low cognitive load, as holds for other involuntary phenomena. The development of a scale measuring different INMI aspects revealed similarities with other forms of spontaneous cognition and allowed the exploration of individual differences as well as the investigation of relationships with other aspects of musical behaviors and auditory imagery abilities. A fourth, interview-based study explored the relationship between novel INMI and creative cognition and by elucidating the phenomenological aspects of the experience as well as of the translation of the inner experience to an external outcome, identified similarities with familiar INMI, voluntary musical imagery, and creative musical imagery. Overall, the results of this research suggest that INMI overlaps to some extent with other forms of spontaneous and creative cognition, music perception, and voluntary musical imagery. Novel methodological tools that were developed for the purposes of this research and findings regarding the subjective evaluation of the experience and the element of repetition will also be discussed. Finally, issues related to terminology, length of the experience, research methodology, future avenues, and possible applications will be considered.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral