Examining changes in HRV and emotion following artmaking with three different art materials

Johanna Czamanski-Cohen, Giora Galili, John J.B. Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This protocol enables the examination of psychological and physiological responses to different types of behavioral engagements. Specifically, in this study example, the emotional response and changes in heart rate variability are examined in response to artmaking with three different art materials that vary in their levels of fluidity. This protocol can be adapted to examine other types of behavior or engagement in artmaking with other materials. There are several benefits to using this protocol. Firstly, the order randomization of the materials improves the probability that the response measured is associated with its qualities and not the order of presentation. Secondly, the continuous measuring of electrocardiogram enables the examination of changes in heart rate variability after engagement with each art material and changes that might occur during the artmaking itself. The advantages of this protocol should be considered with their limitations. The music listening is before each art making session; thus, the return to baseline can only be measured in the first two conditions. The return to baseline provides information on how fast individuals recover after response to working with each of the materials. Furthermore, a more liquid material instead of gouache paint with a brush, such as finger paints, provides more difference between materials. Finally, this protocol can be adapted to specific research needs.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere60376
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number155
StatePublished - Jan 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The production of the film was supported by the Emili Sagol Creative Arts Therapies Research Center.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Journal of Visualized Experiments.


  • Art making
  • Behavior
  • Emotional response
  • Heart rate variability
  • Issue 155
  • Psychophysiology
  • Respiratory Sinus Arrhythmia
  • Self-assessment manikin (SAM)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (all)
  • Chemical Engineering (all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology (all)


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