Music perception (was Semantic sound perception) (Denis Donovan )

Subject: Music perception (was Semantic sound perception)
From:    Denis Donovan  <dmdonvan(at)IX.NETCOM.COM>
Date:    Sun, 27 Jul 2003 09:40:52 -0400

Hadi Harb asked a question I would like to refine for my own work (currently a book on the cognitive psychology of meaning). Is it possible to determine -- i.e., are there reliable physiological indices -- that a person is processing MUSIC? I put this question to Emanuel Donchin who moved from UIUC to chair psychology here at the University of South Florida. Manny's response was "No, but I can tell you [through ERPs] when a person switches from processing music to speech or speech to music." Perhaps that's the definitive answer: the two processes can be _distinguished_ but music processing cannot be reliably _identified_ without a comparison mode. A variant: If one is recording whatever kind of physiological index of music processing (of, say, the beginning of the Liszt piano transcription of Beethoven's Fifth), and the soundstream changes to sounds made by a piano but lacking the previous tonal-metric coherence, can an experienced researcher say with confidence that the person has ceased listening to _music_ but continues to process _sounds_? Denis ===================================================== Denis M. Donovan, M.D., M.Ed., F.A.P.S. The Children's Center for Developmental Psychiatry 6675 - 13th Avenue North, Suite 2-A St. Petersburg, Florida 33710-5483 Phone: 727-345-2400 FAX: 727-345-8808 Email: dmdonvan(at) =====================================================

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