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'Paying Attention to Meanings in the Psychological Sciences and the Performing Arts'.
in Performing Psychologies: Imagination, Creativity and Dramas of the Mind. N. Shaughnessy, & P. Barnard (eds). London: Methuen. pp. 41-66.
Year of publication:
This chapter outlines the Interacting Cognitive Subsystems framework for readers with a background in the humanities. Readers are initially invited to think about how a basic mammal attends and acts in response to simple multimodal states of the world before the approach is extended to habitual creative thinking in the human mind. The main body of the chapter strand describes the idea of “an attentional score” and how this relates to multi-modally derived forms of meaning. This concept arose after more than a decade of collaboration between cognitive scientists and a prominent London-based contemporary dance company. The chapter describes the development of the idea applied to skills in dance creation and performance. Once established, the idea was readily extensible back into the clinical domain to which the Interacting Cognitive Subsystems theory had already been extensively applied. It furnishes a clear case study of how interdisciplinary synergies and benefits can emerge out of extended collaborative research between creative and scientific processes. An attentional score can be used to help think both about studio-based creativity in the performing arts as well as scaffolding accounts of how psychologists work with meanings and attention in various mental health conditions.