51 research outputs found

    Music-colour synaesthesia: Sensorimotor features and synaesthetic experience

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    The main aim and objective of this study is to highlight commonalities between mechanisms underlying music-colour synaesthesia and general music cognition, and to demonstrate some forms of music-colour synaesthesia are grounded in action.Two groups (synaesthetes/non-synaesthetes) reported their experience whilst listening to 3 sets of 4 musical excerpts presented in random order:Set 1: Excerpts played on the participant’s principal instrumentSet 2: As in Set 1 but on an instrument not played by the participant beforeSet 3: As in Set 1 but played on an electronic instrument, and with no expressionParticipants selected and rated the applicability and intensity of terms that best described their emotional, sensorimotor/multimodal, and synaesthetic experience, and strength of their motivation to move and vocalise to the music. It was expected that the intensity of listeners’ synaesthetic experience would be influenced by a change of instrument (i.e., a change from their own instrument, to one with which they have no expertise), and there would not be a significant difference between synaesthetes and non-synaesthetes when rating emotional and sensorimotor factors across different listening conditions.The data were subject to four types of analysis. First, a repeated measures ANOVA tested differences in emotional and sensorimotor ratings across different listening conditions between synaesthetes and controls. Second, a principal component analysis explored clustering of sensorimotor and emotional dimensions. Third,independent t-tests explored any differences between the two groups in the interrelation. Fourth, a Pearson’s correlation analysis tested the relationship between sensorimotor and emotional responses, and for any difference between controls and synaesthetes. The most influential effect on the intensity of listeners’ multimodal, emotional or synaesthetic responses was whether or not music was performed by a human, more so than familiarity with a particular instrument. Synaesthetes and non-synaesthetes wereshown to share a relationship between the intensity of emotional and multimodal responses, yet it was multimodal/sensorimotor intensity that was shown to be fundamentally associated with the intensity of the synaesthetic response. Overall, the results highlighted commonalities between the mechanisms underlying music-colour synaesthesia and general music cognition, and demonstrated that some forms of music-colour synaesthesia are grounded in action

    Beyond WEIRD and towards the decolonisation of music for wellbeing and health

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    Our aim is to identify an alternative understanding of music for wellbeing and health grounded in anthropological accounts of Afro-Brazilian music [9,10], and explore a theoretical framework and methodological implications that link this alternative understanding with 4E conceptions of irreducible ecology between body, mind and environment and coordination across multiple spatio-temporal-scales.WEIRD-based research conclusions have tended to endorse assumptions about music, wellbeing, and cognition that are couched in terms of individual-centred processes and internal psychological mechanisms. Anthropological accounts of, for example Afro-Brazilian music, present an important alternative understanding of music for wellbeing and health, namely music-as-health-establishing. The process of musicking in ritual and festival contexts establishes health in its maintenance and repairing of relationships (or ‘coordination’) with ancestors, each other, materials and environment (Daniel 2005). By foregrounding this holistic, ethnographic conceptualisation of music’s socio-functional connection with health, we eschew methodological and ontological individualism and seek to contribute to a decolonising research position in cognitive science (Smith 2013). Furthermore, we see a connection to unorthodox 4E approaches to cognition that emphasise the situatedness and irreducibility of cognition (not restricted to the ‘head’ and not separated from body and environment) (Loaiza 2016; Moran 2014). This connection offers a theoretical and methodological framework for joint advancement. Highlighting the relationships between coordination, music and health furthermore helps to understand how people can use their knowledge and heritage -as embodied in coordinated activities -to recover and reorganise their experiences of wellbeing. This has particular relevance in the disrupted context of the pandemic. Our critical starting point takes into consideration the interactions between dissimilar forms of knowledge and promotes marginalised knowledge about musical healing. Interdisciplinar

    Action, emotion, and music-colour synaesthesia : an examination of sensorimotor and emotional responses in synaesthetes and non-synaesthetes

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    Synaesthesia has been conceptualised as a joining of sensory experiences. Taking a holistic, embodied perspective, we investigate in this paper the role of action and emotion, testing hypotheses related to (1) changes to action-related qualities of a musical stimulus affect the resulting synaesthetic experience; (2) a comparable relationship exists between music, sensorimotor and emotional responses in synaesthetes and the general population; and (3) sensorimotor responses are more strongly associated with synaesthesia than emotion. 29 synaesthetes and 33 non-synaesthetes listened to 12 musical excerpts performed on a musical instrument they had first-hand experience playing, an instrument never played before, and a deadpan performance generated by notation software, i.e., a performance without expression. They evaluated the intensity of their experience of the music using a list of dimensions that relate to sensorimotor, emotional or synaesthetic sensations. Results demonstrated that the intensity of listeners' responses was most strongly influenced by whether or not music is performed by a human, more so than familiarity with a particular instrument. Furthermore, our findings reveal a shared relationship between emotional and sensorimotor responses among both synaesthetes and non-synaesthetes. Yet it was sensorimotor intensity that was shown to be fundamentally associated with the intensity of the synaesthetic response. Overall, the research argues for, and gives first evidence of a key role of action in shaping the experiences of music-colour synaesthesia

    The communication of timbral intentions between pianists and listeners and its dependence on auditory-visual conditions

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    The perceptual experiment reported in this article explored whether the communication of five pairs of timbral intentions (bright/dark, heavy/light, round/sharp, tense/relaxed, and dry/velvety) between pianists and listeners is reliable and the extent to which performers' gestures provide visual cues that influence the perceived timbre. Three pianists played three musical excerpts with 10 different timbral intentions (3 × 10 = 30 music stimuli) and 21 piano students were asked to rate perceived timbral qualities on both unipolar Likert scales and non-verbal sensory scales (shape, size, and brightness) under three modes (vision-alone, audio-alone, and audio-visual). The results revealed that nine of the timbral intentions were reliably communicated between the pianists and the listeners, except for the dark timbre. The communication of tense and relaxed timbres was improved by the visual conditions regardless of who is performing; for the rest, we found the individuality in each pianist's preference for using visual cues. The results also revealed a strong cross-modal association between timbre and shape. This study implies that the communication of piano timbre is not based on acoustic cues alone but relates to a shared understanding of sensorimotor experiences between the performers and the listeners

    The relationship between musicianship and pain. Is chronic pain and its management a problem for student musicians only?

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    IntroductionThe neuro-biological side of chronic pain research has presented reliable evidence of distinct cortical and spinal alteration compared to healthy individuals. Furthermore, research suggests that musicians are especially vulnerable to pain, and recent neurological investigations into musicians' brain plasticity support this hypothesis. However, chronic pain is not acute pain plus time, but a separate condition, and little is known about musicians' chronic pain-related emotions and behaviors. This knowledge, however, is a crucial step in understanding how chronic pain is processed by musicians.MethodsThis study investigated pain catastrophizing as a critical pain-related behavior and emotional concept alongside six complementary variables: anxiety, depression, depersonalisation, burnout, coping strategies and professional identity.Results103 under- and postgraduate students from various higher education institutions participated in an online survey. Students were allocated into three groups according to their main study subject and type of institution: music college musicians, university musicians and university non-musicians. A tree model confirmed the current chronic pain multifactorial model, suggesting a combination of several variables before catastrophizing pain. Group testing, however, showed that university non-musicians' pain catastrophizing was significantly worse especially when compared to music college musicians. Music college musicians and university musicians were less prone to maladaptive pain processes, despite perceiving pain for significantly longer.DiscussionThis novel finding indicates that chronic pain does not inevitably lead to dysfunctional pain processing for musicians and should be reflected accordingly to optimize pain-control. The biopsychosocio model of chronic pain provides a robust framework for future research in this population

    The same but different. Multidimensional assessment of depression in students of natural science and music

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    Depression is one of the most common and debilitating health problems, however, its heterogeneity makes a diagnosis challenging. Thus far the restriction of depression variables explored within groups, the lack of comparability between groups, and the heterogeneity of depression as a concept limit a meaningful interpretation, especially in terms of predictability. Research established students in late adolescence to be particularly vulnerable, especially those with a natural science or musical study main subject. This study used a predictive design, observing the change in variables between groups as well as predicting which combinations of variables would likely determine depression prevalence. 102 under- and postgraduate students from various higher education institutions participated in an online survey. Students were allocated into three groups according to their main study subject and type of institution: natural science students, music college students and a mix of music and natural science students at university with comparable levels of musical training and professional musical identity. Natural science students showed significantly higher levels of anxiety prevalence and pain catastrophizing prevalence, while music college students showed significantly higher depression prevalence compared to the other groups. A hierarchical regression and a tree analysis found that depression for all groups was best predicted with a combination of variables: high anxiety prevalence and low burnout of students with academic staff. The use of a larger pool of depression variables and the comparison of at-risk groups provide insight into how these groups experience depression and thus allow initial steps towards personalized support structures

    The use of technology for arts-based activities in older adults living with mild cognitive impairment or dementia: a scoping review

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    For older adults living with mild cognitive impairment or dementia, creative arts-based activities can offer many benefits from enjoyment as leisure/recreation to an avenue to maintain cognitive, social and emotional wellbeing. With growing interest and recognition that technology could have potential to assist in delivering these activities in more accessible and personalised ways, a scoping review was undertaken to systematically examine the scientific literature for technology-assisted creative arts activities for older adults living with dementia. We searched PubMed, PsychINFO, Web of Science, Scopus and ACM Digital Library databases using keywords centering on population with dementia, an intervention using technology, and a context of creative arts, with no restrictions on the type of outcome measured. We retrieved 3739 records, with an additional 22 from hand-searching. 51 full-text articles met the inclusion and exclusion criteria. Findings of the review indicate technologies principally being designed for music activities (listening, and music-making), as well as storytelling and visual arts. The majority of devices were custom-made, with studies mainly reporting on validating the success of the device/intervention. This suggests most work in the field is currently at prototyping stage, although a few devices are now commercially available. Recommendations for future research includes involvement of participants reporting on their previous experiences in the arts and how this influences co-design choices, and inclusion of different severities of dementia in the participant/co-design group. Furthering device development past prototyping stage as well as collaboration between teams would enable comparisons to be made across different types of devices used for the same activity, and comparisons across arts-based activities that could lead to cross-disciplinary outcomes for the design of creative arts-based assistive technologies

    Perception of isolated chords: Examining frequency of occurrence, instrumental timbre, acoustic descriptors and musical training

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    This study investigated the perception of isolated chords using a combination of experimental manipulation and exploratory analysis. Twelve types of chord (five triads and seven tetrads) were presented in two instrumental timbres (piano and organ) to listeners who rated the chords for consonance, pleasantness, stability and relaxation. Listener ratings varied by chord, by timbre, and according to musical expertise, and revealed that musicians distinguished consonance from the other variables in a way that other listeners did not. To further explain the data, a principal component analysis and linear regression examined three potential predictors of the listener ratings. First, each chord’s frequency of occurrence was obtained by counting its appearances in selected works of music. Second, listeners rated their familiarity with the instrumental timbre in which the chord was played. Third, chords were described using a set of acoustic features derived using the Timbre Toolbox and MIR Toolbox. Results of the study indicated that listeners’ ratings of both consonance and stability were influenced by the degree of musical training and knowledge of tonal hierarchy. Listeners’ ratings of pleasantness and relaxation, on the other hand, depended more on the instrumental timbre and other acoustic descriptions of the chord

    "Help! I Need Somebody": Music as a Global Resource for Obtaining Wellbeing Goals in Times of Crisis.

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    Music can reduce stress and anxiety, enhance positive mood, and facilitate social bonding. However, little is known about the role of music and related personal or cultural (individualistic vs. collectivistic) variables in maintaining wellbeing during times of stress and social isolation as imposed by the COVID-19 crisis. In an online questionnaire, administered in 11 countries (Argentina, Brazil, China, Colombia, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, the UK, and USA, N = 5,619), participants rated the relevance of wellbeing goals during the pandemic, and the effectiveness of different activities in obtaining these goals. Music was found to be the most effective activity for three out of five wellbeing goals: enjoyment, venting negative emotions, and self-connection. For diversion, music was equally good as entertainment, while it was second best to create a sense of togetherness, after socialization. This result was evident across different countries and gender, with minor effects of age on specific goals, and a clear effect of the importance of music in people's lives. Cultural effects were generally small and surfaced mainly in the use of music to obtain a sense of togetherness. Interestingly, culture moderated the use of negatively valenced and nostalgic music for those higher in distress

    "Help! I Need Somebody": Music as a Global Resource for Obtaining Wellbeing Goals in Times of Crisis

    Get PDF
    Music can reduce stress and anxiety, enhance positive mood, and facilitate social bonding. However, little is known about the role of music and related personal or cultural (individualistic vs. collectivistic) variables in maintaining wellbeing during times of stress and social isolation as imposed by the COVID-19 crisis. In an online questionnaire, administered in 11 countries (Argentina, Brazil, China, Colombia, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, the UK, and USA, N = 5,619), participants rated the relevance of wellbeing goals during the pandemic, and the effectiveness of different activities in obtaining these goals. Music was found to be the most effective activity for three out of five wellbeing goals: enjoyment, venting negative emotions, and self-connection. For diversion, music was equally good as entertainment, while it was second best to create a sense of togetherness, after socialization. This result was evident across different countries and gender, with minor effects of age on specific goals, and a clear effect of the importance of music in people's lives. Cultural effects were generally small and surfaced mainly in the use of music to obtain a sense of togetherness. Interestingly, culture moderated the use of negatively valenced and nostalgic music for those higher in distress.Laboratorio para el Estudio de la Experiencia Musica
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