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Do you see what I'm singing? : visuospatial movement biases pitch perception

Connell, Louise and Cai, Zhenguang G. and Holler, Judith (2013) Do you see what I'm singing? : visuospatial movement biases pitch perception. Brain and Cognition, 81 (1). pp. 124-130. ISSN 1090-2147

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Abstract

The nature of the connection between musical and spatial processing is controversial. While pitch may be described in spatial terms such as "high" or "low", it is unclear whether pitch and space are associated but separate dimensions or whether they share representational and processing resources. In the present study, we asked participants to judge whether a target vocal note was the same as (or different from) a preceding cue note. Importantly, target trials were presented as video clips where a singer sometimes gestured upward or downward while singing that target note, thus providing an alternative, concurrent source of spatial information. Our results show that pitch discrimination was significantly biased by the spatial movement in gesture, such that downward gestures made notes seem lower in pitch than they really were, and upward gestures made notes seem higher in pitch. These effects were eliminated by spatial memory load but preserved under verbal memory load conditions. Together, our findings suggest that pitch and space have a shared representation such that the mental representation of pitch is audiospatial in nature.

Item Type: Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title: Brain and Cognition
Uncontrolled Keywords: Mental representation ; Pitch perception ; Music ; Space ; Spatial representation
Subjects:
Departments: Faculty of Science and Technology > Psychology
ID Code: 64148
Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
Deposited On: 24 Apr 2013 09:48
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2018 00:23
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/64148

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