Rhythm in cognitive processing in the brain

Entrainment of the eye pupil (diameter) to music

Pupil size can be used as a proxy of the intensity of attentional processing or allocation of cognitive resources. The pupil changes spontaneously during music listening (while a person looks at a blank screen and pupil diameters are recorded continuously). We have data from about 30 people, each listening to 6 songs of different musical genres, for a total of about 180 songs and respective pupil recordings, lasting several minutes each. The goal of the study would be to extract from the songs’ waveforms rhythmical periodicities in the music. Similarly, one can extract from the pupils’ waveforms rhythmical periodicities in the pupil diameter. The question is whether the two coincide at some frequencies in the respective spectra, revealing evidence for attentional entrainment to, for example, the song’s musical pulse or beat.

Relevant papers:

  • Alnæs, Dag; Sneve, Markus Handal; Espeseth, Thomas; Endestad, Tor; van de Pavert, Steven & Laeng, Bruno (2014). Pupil size signals mental effort deployed during multiple object tracking and predicts brain activity in the dorsal attention network and the locus coeruleus. Journal of Vision.  ISSN 1534-7362.  14(4), s 1- 20 . doi: 10.1167/14.4.1
  • Tal et al. (2017). Neural Entrainment to the Beat: The "Missing-Pulse" Phenomenon. Journal of Neuroscience, 37 (26) 6331-6341; DOI: https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2500-16.2017
  • Laeng, Bruno; Eidet, Lise Mette; Sulutvedt, Unni & Panksepp, Jaak (2016). Music chills: The eye pupil as a mirror to music’s soul. Consciousness and Cognition 44, 161- 178 doi: 10.1016/j.concog.2016.07.009

The RITMO - Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies of Rhythm, Time and Motion started in 2018. Researchers in the network come from the ROBIN group (Informatics), FRONT Neurolab (Psychology), and the Department of Musicology, and have access to state-of-the-art laboratories.

Publisert 22. nov. 2018 10:04 - Sist endret 25. okt. 2019 12:15

Omfang (studiepoeng)

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