In search of a question

The first approximation to the research question was “How does brain process art?” We agreed during the first meeting that the question should be narrowed. This series of posts examines possible ways of narrowing the question.

Suzanne Coley suggested narrowing the “art” first. For example, do we intend visual art or performance art. For the moment, I will go with “theatre” because this seems most relevant to the project. So the question becomes “How does brain process theatre?”

The next part is to specify what do we mean by theatre, for the purpose of this project. (The definitions one finds in the dictionaries offer a wide range of meanings.) I will take the definition offered by David White. Theatre is an organism created when live performers are on stage. Let’s see what we get now: “How does brain process an organism created when live performers are on stage?”

Well, this sounds a bit jarring, but it is close to what we intend:

How does brain process the totality of stimuli generated during a live performance?

Typically, the next step for researchers is to answer the following questions: “Why should we care?” and “Do we have the tools to get to the answer (or, at least, to other interesting questions)?”  Answering these questions is likely to narrow the question even further.

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One thought on “In search of a question

  1. I like this question, and yes I think there should be a discussion about whether the question is a consideration in the creation of the work, and if we intend to try and collect data of any kind. Perhaps both. I think this should be part of the discussion at our next gathering.

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