Call for Participation: NEMCOG @ Wesleyan!


The next semiannual meeting of the Northeast Music Cognition Group (NEMCOG) will take place at Wesleyan University on Saturday April 4, 2015. The goal of NEMCOG is to facilitate interaction among researchers at institutions along the Northeast Corridor who are interested in the area of music cognition, to discuss research in the field, and to identify topics of joint interest and areas for potential collaboration.

To register for the event, please RSVP to the NEMCOG organizers at by Sunday, March 15, 2015. Continental breakfast and a catered lunch will be provided.

The schedule for the workshop is as follows:

8:00 – 9:00     Registration and breakfast
9:00 – 10:00    Short talks: Session I
10:00 – 10:30   Coffee break
10:30 – 11:30   Short talks: Session II
11:30 – 12:00   Coffee break
12:00 – 1:300   Short talks: Session III
1:00 – 2:00     Lunch
2:00 – 3:00     Keynote
3:00 – 3:30     Coffee break
3:30 – 4:30     Concert
4:30 – 5:00     Panel discussion with performers and scientists
5:00 – 6:00     Open house
6:00 onwards    Informal gathering (on your own – list of restaurants will be provided)

We invite submissions of very short (8-minute) presentations of research for an interdisciplinary audience. This year, we especially welcome abstract submissions in honor of David Wessel (1942 – 2014), Professor of Music at UC Berkeley, founding director of Berkeley’s Center for New Music and Audio Technologies, and past president of the Society for Music Perception and Cognition. We hope to make slots for eight-minute talks available to all, but in an effort to make room for speakers who have not spoken at NEMCOG previously, we may have to turn down some requests for slots at this meeting. If you would like to do a presentation, please indicate so in your RSVP with a tentative title and a short abstract or bio. All presented abstracts and bios will be shared with our attendees and posted on our web site.

If you are unable to come to this meeting but would like to remain as an interested non-attendee, you could be kept abreast of the group’s activities through continued inclusion on our e-mail list. If this message was forwarded to you by a colleague or through another e-mail list, and you would like to receive our regular announcements, please sign up for our mailing lists at

Please circulate this invitation widely to anybody that you think might be interested and able to attend either this meeting or future meetings elsewhere in the Northeast Corridor region.

Organizing Committee
Psyche Loui, Assistant Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience and Behavior, Wesleyan University
Mark Slobin, Winslow-Kaplan Professor of Music, Wesleyan University
Ron Kuivila, University Professor of Music, Wesleyan University
Gloster Aaron, Associate Professor of Biology and Neuroscience and Behavior, Wesleyan University
Ed Large, Professor of Psychology, University of Connecticut

Executive Committee
Morwaread Farbood, NYU
Psyche Loui, Wesleyan University
Panayotis Mavromatis, NYU
Ève Poudrier, Yale
Ian Quinn, Yale

Beat deafness

This Washington Post article discusses recent research on “beat deafness”:

Here’s the link to the study mentioned in the article, Losing the beat: deficits in temporal coordination:

YalMusT New Resources & Workshops

YalMusT are greatly expanding our yearly workshop offerings this year.  In addition to notation workshops (Sibelius and Finale) we are offering a series of workshops in conjunction with the new Open Music Initiative that are designed to introduce you to open source hardware and software for musical notation, editing, production, etc.  This is software you can download and use for free that can replace many for-cost programs.  Additionally, we are teaching a number of DIY hardware workshops where participants can learn about analog sound synthesis while actually making simple synthesizers.  To keep up-to-date on what is happening you have a plethora of choices.

The official YalMusT pages below contain lots of useful information about our labs, offerings, classes, and more.

YalMusT Site:

YalMusT Workshops:


Additionally, we started two mailing lists this year that you can sign up to receive announcements about the weeks goings-on.  To subscribe to general YalMusT announcements (one email per week) please see the following link.

Subscribe here:

(List address:

To subscribe to OMI workshop and meet-up announcements, please click the following link:
(List address:
And lastly (but not leastly) if you are on The Facebooks™ and prefer to receive your information in social event form, please click on the following links and like our pages.  We will post relevant event information to both.

The internal clock and subjective tempo: Effects of arousal and aging

To read the poster, click here.

First author: Kelly Jakubowski

Goldsmiths, University of London, London, UK

Co-authors: Andrea Halpern, Lauren Stewart


Summary: Human time judgments are affected by various psychological factors. Our study tested whether factors known to influence time perception would also affect the tempo at which a familiar tune ‘sounds right’(hereafter referred to as ‘subjective tempo’). Two experiments tested the effects of 1) physiological arousal and 2) age on subjective tempo for common tunes such as Happy Birthday. It was hypothesized that 1) arousal induced via exercise would increase subjective tempo relative to a control task (anagrams)and that 2) subjective tempo would decrease with age. All participants completed a perception task, in which the tempi of tunes heard aloud were adjusted in real time, and an imagery task, in which the speed of a click track was adjusted to match the tempi of imagined tunes. Subjective tempo was positively associated with increased arousal, but was not related to age. Results are discussed in relation to pacemaker-accumulator models of timing and theories of cognitive slowing.

Personality influences career choice: Sensation seeking in professional musicians

Peter Vuust, Line Gebauera, Niels Chr. Hansenb, Stine Ramsgaard Jørgensena,
Arne Møllera, and Jakob Linneta. 2010. Personality influences career choice: Sensation seeking in professional musicians. Music Education Research, 12, 2, 219-230.

ABSTRACT: Despite the obvious importance of deciding which career to pursue, little is
known about the influence of personality on career choice. Here we investigated
the relation between sensation seeking, a supposedly innate personality trait, and
career choice in classical and ‘rhythmic’ students at the academies of music in
Denmark. We compared data from groups of 59 classical and 36 ‘rhythmic’
students, who completed a psychological test battery comprising the Zuckerman
Sensation Seeking Scale, the Spielberger StateTrait Anxiety Inventory, as well as
information about demographics and musical background. ‘Rhythmic’ students
had significantly higher sensation seeking scores than classical students,
predominantly driven by higher boredom susceptibility. Classical students
showed significantly higher levels of state anxiety, when imagining themselves
just before entering the stage for an important concert. The higher level of anxiety
related to stage performance in classical musicians was not attributed to group
differences in trait anxiety, but is presumably a consequence of differences in
musical rehearsing and performance practices of the two styles of music. The
higher sensation seeking scores observed in ‘rhythmic’ students, however, suggests
that personality is associated with musical career choice.

An ABC of drumming: children’s narratives about beat, rhythm and groove in a primary classroom

This newly published study will interest several of you…

Mackinlay_2014_An ABC of drumming_Children’s narratives about beat, rhythm and groove in a primary classroom

In this paper, Elizabeth Mackinlay (School of Education, University of Queensland) uses a bricolage of arts-based research and writing practices to explore narratives by Grade 4 children about their experiences in a drumming circle called ‘Bam
Bam’ as represented in a text they created with me called An ABC of drumming. The
term ‘narrative’ is used here in a contemporary sense to simultaneously invoke a socially
and musically situated and constructed story (Chase, 2005 p. 657); as an ‘account to self
and others’ (Barrett & Stauffer, 2009, p. 7) about drumming in a particular place, with a
particular group of children during a particular set of events; and, to explore narratives
of drumming as the ‘shared relational work’ of myself as a drummer, teacher, researcher
and ‘story-teller/story-liver’ (Connelly & Clandinin, 1990, p. 12) alongside the children.
In synchronicity with the ABC of drumming produced by the children, the paper itself
is framed and written creatively around letters of the alphabet and variously includes
poetry and data or research poetry; ethnographic ‘thick descriptions’ (Geertz, 1973) of our
drumming circle; and, visual and textual expressions by the children. By doing so, her
aim is to move collectively from ‘narrative as a “story-presented” to narrative as a “form
of meaning-making”, indeed, a form of “mind-making”’ (Barrett & Stauffer, 2009, p. 10)
about the children’s experience of drumming and the drumming circle itself. The central
question underpinning this paper then is, what makes children’s experience in a drumming
circle meaningful, and how do they make sense of such meaning?

Moving to music: effects of heard and imagined musical cues on movement-related brain activity

Front Hum Neurosci 2014 Sep 26;8:774
Moving to music: effects of heard and imagined musical cues on movement-related brain activity

Schaefer RS1, Morcom AM2, Roberts N3, Overy K4,5
1 SAGE Center for the Study of the Mind, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA , USA; 2 School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK; 3 Clinical Research Imaging Centre (CRIC), Queen’s Medical Research Institute, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK; 4 Institute for Music in Human and Social Development, Reid School of Music, Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK; 5 Don Wright Faculty of Music, Department of Music Education, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada

Music is commonly used to facilitate or support movement, and increasingly used in movement rehabilitation. Additionally, there is some evidence to suggest that music imagery, which is reported to lead to brain signatures similar to music perception, may also assist movement. However, it is not yet known whether either imagined or musical cueing changes the way in which the motor system of the human brain is activated during simple movements. Here, functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to compare neural activity during wrist flexions performed to either heard or imagined music with self-pacing of the same movement without any cueing. Focusing specifically on the motor network of the brain, analyses were performed within a mask of BA4, BA6, the basal ganglia (putamen, caudate, and pallidum), the motor nuclei of the thalamus, and the whole cerebellum. Results revealed that moving to music compared with self-paced movement resulted in significantly increased activation in left cerebellum VI. Moving to imagined music led to significantly more activation in pre-supplementary motor area (pre-SMA) and right globus pallidus, relative to self-paced movement. When the music and imagery cueing conditions were contrasted directly, movements in the music condition showed significantly more activity in left hemisphere cerebellum VII and right hemisphere and vermis of cerebellum IX, while the imagery condition revealed more significant activity in pre-SMA. These results suggest that cueing movement with actual or imagined music impacts upon engagement of motor network regions during the movement, and suggest that heard and imagined cues can modulate movement in subtly different ways. These results may have implications for the applicability of auditory cueing in movement rehabilitation for different patient populations.

ICMPC-APSCOM 2014 Conference Proceedings

It is always a good idea to look through conference proceedings when starting to work on a new project. This is where you will find the latest work, which might not make it in print until it will be too late for your project!

The International Music Perception Conference is the largest international event on music perception and cognition. You can browse through the conference proceedings here:

I will bring a printout of the table of contents tomorrow, but it will be too late for your preliminary bibliography! You will find that there were several sessions on topics relevant to your research questions…


Participants needed for survey on the interactions between analysis & performance

As part of a research project on the interactions between analysis and performance, Su Yin Mak (Department of Music, The Chinese University of Hong Kong) is conducting a questionnaire survey for full-time music students.  The questionnaire is intended to find out how music students understand the role of analysis in practical situations.
You can access the survey here: