Great minds ranging from Plato to Darwin have posited that music’s power to convey emotion stems in part from its parallels to emotional speech. Matt Poon (lab alum ’12) explored this intriguing issue by working with Dr. Schutz to quantify the use of cues such as pitch height and attack rate in “balanced” corpus of major/minor key pieces – Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier and Chopin’s Preludes for piano. This article now appears in a special edition of Frontiers in Psychology.
|Fiona Manning published “Movement Enhances Perceived Timing in the Absence of Auditory Feedback” in Timing & Time Perception. This paper identifies the importance of auditory feedback as a cue for movement timing, which subsequently affects perceived timing of an external stimulus. Additionally, it demonstrated that movement alone can improve timing perception, independent of the auditory feedback caused by this movement. Click here to see a quick overview of this project.|
|Collaborative work with former visiting graduate student Guillaume Vallet and McMaster colleague Dr. David Shore resulted in a new paper, “Exploring the role of amplitude envelope in duration estimations” in the journal Perception. This work explores the underlying strategies used to process sounds with natural dynamic temporal structures. Specifically, it contrasts these strategies with those used in processing the simplistic artificial sounds frequently used in auditory research.|
|Lab alumni Jonny Vaisberg (’13) published an exhaustive “survey of sounds” exploring the temporal structures of auditory research published in the journal Music Perception. This paper builds on a previous bibliometric survey of topics by Anna Tirovolas and Dan Levitin, and shows that a great deal of work on auditory perception focuses on sounds with unnatural temporal structures. We are interested in better understanding the types of sounds used in auditory research, given several lab projects demonstrating clear differences in the perceptual processing of tones with natural vs. artificial temporal structures.|
|Fiona Manning and Dr. Schutz published ‘”Moving to the Beat” Improves Timing Perception’ in Psychonomic Bulletin & Review. This paper demonstrates that moving to the beat (tapping) while listening can objectively improve our perception of musical timing. It forms the basis of subsequent explorations of differences in rhythm perception in percussionists and non-percussionists. Click here to learn more about this project.|
|Jessica Gillard authored a technical brief titled ‘Exploring Melodic Structure to Increase Heterogeneity of Auditory Alarm Sets in Medical Devices’, published in the Journal of Medical Devices. This paper explores the melodic structure of auditory alarms used in hospitals and offers new, detailed information on alarm confusions that can help inform future research on melodic alarm design. The design of auditory alarms in medical devices is a new area of study for the lab, but one with significant potential for improving the delivery of health care services.|