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Durham e-Theses
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Blinding the Mind’s Eye:
Comparing the Effectiveness of Three Suppression Tasks on Music- Induced Visual Mental Imagery and Felt Emotion

HASHIM, SARAH (2020) Blinding the Mind’s Eye:
Comparing the Effectiveness of Three Suppression Tasks on Music- Induced Visual Mental Imagery and Felt Emotion.
Masters thesis, Durham University.

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Visual mental imagery refers to the spontaneous occurrence of a visual image in the mind’s eye, without the influence of an external stimulus. Visual imagery has seen a boost within music research in the last few decades and has become a key component within a framework of mechanisms underlying music-induced emotions. As a result, a number of studies have suggested that visual imagery possesses the ability to enhance felt emotion during music listening, but will inhibiting visual imagery then have a negative effect on felt emotion ratings? The present research aimed to investigate the effects of three types of distractor tasks (visuospatial, visual, and verbal) on visual imagery and felt emotion ratings. Previous research into the clinical effects of visual imagery suppression has found strong evidence that a visuospatial task would perform the best in cognitive interference, whereas a verbal task would perform the worst. Thus, the hypothesis was that a visuospatial eye-movement task would negatively affect visual imagery and felt emotion the most, followed by a dynamic visual noise task, with a verbal articulatory suppression task having minimal interference effects. Thirty- five participants reported their visual imagery and felt emotion ratings in response to eighteen short film music excerpts. Participants also reported on the content of their visual imagery to each musical excerpt. The results show that the verbal task in fact performed best in visual imagery suppression, closely followed by the visuospatial task, with the visual task performing the worst. These findings appear to partly oppose that of several previous studies, and results are discussed in relation to previous research on visual imagery function and content.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Keywords:visual mental imagery; music listening; suppression of imagery
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Music, Department of
Thesis Date:2020
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:10 Feb 2021 10:23

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