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Martindale wrote and did research analyzing artistic processes. His most popular work was The Clockwork Muse (1990). Martindale argued that all artistic development over time in written, visual and musical works was the result of a search for novelty.
Martindale was awarded the 1984 American Association for the Advancement of Science Prize for Behavioral Science Research.
- The Clockwork Muse: The Predictability of Artistic Change, New York: Basic Books, 1990, ISBN 0465011861
- Evolutionary and neurocognitive approaches to aesthetics, creativity, and the arts, Amityville, NY: Baywood Pub., 2007, ISBN 0895033062
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