Workshop: Are we musical animals?
Developing a Roadmap for Using Intrinsically Motivating Games for Identifying the Musicality Phenotype
Workshop at the international conference ‘SMART Animals’ at the University of Amsterdam.
While there is still quite some debate on the cultural and biological origins of music, there is a growing consensus that musicality has deep biological foundations, based on an accumulation of evidence for the involvement of genetic variation (Gingras, Honing, Peretz, Trainor & Fisher, 2015; Liu et al., 2016; Oikkonen, Onkamo, Järvelä & Kanduri, 2016; Peretz, 2016). Recent advances in molecular technologies provide an effective way of exploring these biological foundations. Next to examining clustering in families and co-occurrence in twins of extreme levels of musical ability, genome-wide genotyping offers a promising route to capture the polymorphic content of a large phenotyped population sample. The success of genetic studies of musical ability is, however, critically dependent on a robust, objective, and reliable measure of the musicality phenotype.
This workshop will evaluate existing measures of musicality, such as the Goldsmiths Music Sophistication index (GOLD-MSI), AMMA, MET, Karma, Seashore, etc., and discuss the opportunities to administer these standardized aptitude tests online, especially using web-based and engaging gaming techniques. The latter will provide an important step towards high-powered genome-wide screens to be able to effectively analyse musical phenotypes (Gingras et al., 2015).
John Ashley Burgoyne, University of Amsterdam
Henkjan Honing, University of Amsterdam
|09:15||Introduction – prof. dr. Henkjan Honing – University of Amsterdam|
Keynote 1 – dr. Bruno Gingras – University of Innsbruck
Quantifying the musical phenotype: A musico-cognitive perspective
Keynote 2 – prof. dr. Simon Fisher – Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics
A genetic perspective on musicality
|13:00||Coffee available at Perdu|
Fleur L. Bouwer, Heleen A. Slagter, and Henkjan Honing – Measuring rhythmic and beat perception abilities in the general population
|13.45||Heidi Järvikylä, Mrudula Arunkuma, and Makiko Sadakata – Effect of linguistic experience on perception of musical rhythms: A comparison between Finnish and English native speakers
Recent studies have illustrated how individuals who master multiple languages with diverse rhythmic characteristics show better skills in perception of musical rhythms (Roncaglia-Denissen et. al 2013; 2016). However, rhythmic characteristics of speech can be defined in various ways, e.g., the metric preference or the overall rhythmicity of speech unit, and it is unclear which characteristic is contributing to this effect. To further understand this transfer of learning from language to music, we are currently collecting data to compare the accuracy of musical rhythm perception performance by native Finnish speakers and English monolingual speakers. All Finnish speakers are multilingual with English as their second language. Finnish and English share the metric preference: trochee, characterised as a stressed syllable followed by an unstressed syllable. However, the two languages differ in the overall rhythmicity of the speech unit: e.g., variability of vowel durations tends to be much higher in English than in Finnish. The perceptual skill of musical rhythm is measured by Music Ear Test (Wallentin et al., 2010). We are also collecting the data of working memory, musical experience and linguistic background information. If Finnish speakers outperformed English speakers in the music rhythm perception test, the speech unit rhythm would be the relevant feature regarding the effect more than the lexical meter. An absence of the group difference could potentially signify that the lexical metric preference is more relevant for the improvement in the musical perception than the overall speech unit rhythm.
|14:00||Manuela M. Marin, Raphaela Schober, Bruno Gingras, and Helmut Leder – How can the experience of music affect sexual attraction in humans?
Several theories about the origins of music have emphasized its biological and social functions, including in courtship. Darwin proposed that music may act as a courtship display due to its capacity to vary in complexity and emotional content. Support for music’s reproductive function comes from the recent finding that only women in the fertile phase of the reproductive cycle prefer composers of complex melodies to composers of simple ones as short-term sexual partners (Charlton, 2014). However, the precise mechanisms by which music may influence sexual attraction are unknown, specifically how musical sound may interact with visual attractiveness cues and affect perception and behaviour in both genders. Using a crossmodal priming paradigm, we examined whether listening to music influences ratings of facial attractiveness and dating desirability of opposite-sex faces. We also tested whether misattribution of arousal or pleasantness underlies these effects, and explored whether sex differences and menstrual cycle phase may be moderators. Our sample comprised 64 women in the fertile or infertile phase (no hormonal contraception use) and 32 men, carefully matched for mood, relationship status, and musical preferences. Musical primes (25 s) varied in arousal and pleasantness, and targets were photos of faces with neutral expressions (2 s). Group-wise analyses indicated that women, but not men, gave significantly higher ratings of facial attractiveness and dating desirability after having listened to music than in the silent control condition. High-arousing, complex music yielded the largest effects, suggesting that music may affect human courtship behaviour through induced arousal, which calls for further studies on the mechanisms by which music affects physical attractiveness cues in real-life social contexts.
|14.15||Responses and discussion from dr. Gingras and prof. dr. Fisher|
Berit Janssen – The Telephone Game: Studying transmission through mobile apps
dr. Ashley Burgoyne – Measurement and reliability challenges in citizen science for music cognition
|15.30||Responses and discussion from dr. Gingras and prof. dr. Fisher|
|15.45||Closing – prof. dr. Henkjan Honing – University of Amsterdam|
|16.00||Travel to plenary events|