Event Title

Seeing is Hearing: Integration of Attended Visual Stimuli Influence Ambiguous Auditory Rhythm Perception

Presenter Information

Khalid Taylor, Oberlin College

Location

Science Center, Bent Corridor

Start Date

10-2-2015 12:00 PM

End Date

10-2-2015 1:20 PM

Poster Number

43

Abstract

We perceive and interact with the world around us through the integration of multisensory information. While music is often considered an auditory experience, visual input can influence musical perceptions particularly in the rhythmic domain. Previous research suggests that both visual and vestibular stimuli may influence participants’ perceptions of simple auditory musical beats; however, no studies have investigated the effects of visual representations of musical beats on complex acoustic rhythmic sequences. In the current experiment, participants listened to multiple 6-beat rhythms that were not clearly within either march (couplings of two beats) or waltz (couplings of three beats) musical meters and reported how they felt the rhythm coupled the beats. These auditory sequences were either unambiguous (clearly march or waltz) or ambiguous (could be perceived as either march or waltz) and presented either without a visual stimulus, with a visual march (ball bouncing on every other beat), a visual waltz (ball bouncing on every third beat), or non-matching visual beat (ball bouncing on every fifth beat). Visual march and waltz stimuli shifted participants’ reports of the auditory beat; however, not all auditory sequences were equally influenced by visual march and/or waltz stimuli. This suggests that unambiguous visual stimuli play a significant but complex role in perceiving rhythms, thus highlighting the multimodal experience of music. Future studies are needed to determine the influence of musical experience on audiovisual beat perception and the neural mechanisms of this audiovisual interaction.

Major

Neuroscience; Musical Studies

Award

Oberlin College Research Fellowship (OCRF)

Project Mentor(s)

Leslie Kwakye, Neuroscience

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Oct 2nd, 12:00 PM Oct 2nd, 1:20 PM

Seeing is Hearing: Integration of Attended Visual Stimuli Influence Ambiguous Auditory Rhythm Perception

Science Center, Bent Corridor

We perceive and interact with the world around us through the integration of multisensory information. While music is often considered an auditory experience, visual input can influence musical perceptions particularly in the rhythmic domain. Previous research suggests that both visual and vestibular stimuli may influence participants’ perceptions of simple auditory musical beats; however, no studies have investigated the effects of visual representations of musical beats on complex acoustic rhythmic sequences. In the current experiment, participants listened to multiple 6-beat rhythms that were not clearly within either march (couplings of two beats) or waltz (couplings of three beats) musical meters and reported how they felt the rhythm coupled the beats. These auditory sequences were either unambiguous (clearly march or waltz) or ambiguous (could be perceived as either march or waltz) and presented either without a visual stimulus, with a visual march (ball bouncing on every other beat), a visual waltz (ball bouncing on every third beat), or non-matching visual beat (ball bouncing on every fifth beat). Visual march and waltz stimuli shifted participants’ reports of the auditory beat; however, not all auditory sequences were equally influenced by visual march and/or waltz stimuli. This suggests that unambiguous visual stimuli play a significant but complex role in perceiving rhythms, thus highlighting the multimodal experience of music. Future studies are needed to determine the influence of musical experience on audiovisual beat perception and the neural mechanisms of this audiovisual interaction.