Locomus 2021 abstracts

Guest lecture

  • Practicing MUSIC therapy online in times of Corona
    Laurien Hakvoort1
    1. Artez, Muzis
    What happens when your body is in absolute need of weekly movement interventions with music therapy and these meetings stop due to Corona? What happens with a research line where weekly Neurologic Music Therapy (NMT) sessions are recorded but is terminated due to Corona? At ArtEZ University of the Arts, 8 participants with Parkinson,  dr. Laurien Hakvoort, and a group of her international master students were confronted with the pandemic and had to terminate their music therapy treatment interventions prematurely. They regained their collaboration by moving to an online platform that allowed them to continue in an unprecedented way with their music therapy treatment and still collect data for different music therapy research projects. The presentation will incorporate different treatment solutions to provide music (therapy) interventions that first were offered face-to-face through tele-health modus (including some video footage of the NMT-treatment under both circumstances).


  • Social connectedness in virtual environments during the COVID-19 pandemic
    *Kelsey E. Onderdijk1, Freya Acar2, Edith Van Dyck1, Dana Swarbrick3,4, Bavo Van Kerrebroeck1, Maximillian Mantei5, Jonna Vuoskoski3,4,6, Pieter-Jan Maes1, and Marc Leman1
    1. IPEM, Department of Art, Music and Theatre Sciences, Ghent University
    2. Department of Data-Analysis, Ghent University
    3. RITMO Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Rhythm, Time and Motion, University of Oslo
    4. Department of Musicology, University of Oslo
    5. Institute for Law and Economics, University of Hamburg
    6. Department of Psychology, University of Oslo
    Music has the capability to facilitate social bonding and feelings of social connectedness. The COVID-19 pandemic provided the opportunity to investigate how music’s social power functions in times of crisis. Social media demonstrated many examples of people engaging in socially-distanced musical activities in order to express social solidarity and feelings of togetherness (e.g., balcony concerts, livestreamed music festivals). While previous research has shown such music activities can have beneficial effects (e.g., physical and psychological health), it remains unclear how such benefits interact with ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic, and how social connectedness can be facilitated in socially-distanced contexts, more specifically, in virtual environments. In the last year two separate studies were performed that investigated 1) how musicians engaged in joint-music making during the first weeks of lockdown, and 2) how social connectedness might be facilitated through livestreamed concerts. Overall results provide insights into the motivations for people to engage in music activities during the lockdown, the role of latency issues in online joint-music making, the role of agency and presence in facilitating social connectedness during livestreamed concerts, and the role of social connectedness in reducing negative feelings such as loneliness and COVID-19 related anxieties. Overall, the studies provide observations on the realization of satisfactory virtual experiences in the future, be it for possible future lockdown situations, or simply keeping up with a highly digitizing world.
  • Music as a coping mechanism in times of crisis: Dutch and international findings of uses of music during the COVID-19 pandemic
    *Rebecca S. Schaefer
    1,2,3, Marijn Coers1, Daniel Spitz4,5, Roni Granot6
    1. Health, Medical & Neuropsychology unit, Institute of Psychology, Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands
    2. Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition, Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands
    3. Academy for Creative and Performing Arts, Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands
    4. Department of Psychology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
    5. School of Business Administration, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
    4. Department of Musicology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel

    The COVID-19 pandemic has led to significant stress and other negative symptoms for a very large number of people all around the world. During this time, with an international consortium that included 11 countries, we asked how music is contributing to people’s well-being during this time of crisis (n=5,619), revealing many commonalities between the different countries, but also some differences. In the current talk I will focus specifically on the dataset collected in Dutch (n=722, mostly from The Netherlands), how this group relates to other groups internationally, and several findings specific to this region.

Poster presentation 1

  1. Opera Studies in the time of Corona
    *Negin Motamed Yeganeh1, Nancy Hermiston1, Lara Boyd1, Janet Werker1 & Anja-Xiaoxing Cui1
    1. University of British Columbia

Live music performers, whether instrumentalists or singers, are contending with the extraordinary conditions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Apart from general uncertainty, live music performers had to adapt to performing with masks and at unusual distances as well as other differences in presentation modes. Here, we present qualitative and quantitative data on the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on opera performance, using the opera training program at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, as a case study. Four stakeholders of the UBC Opera Ensemble were interviewed regarding their experience while staging an adaptation of Gioachino Rossini’s “Il Viaggio a Reims” under COVID-19 safety measures. Exploratory analyses identified several themes in these interviews, such as difficulties of singing with masks, including the expression of emotions, and the impact of restrictions on the connection to colleagues on stage. Five singers who were cast in “Il Viaggio a Reims” further wore heart beat measurement devices during performance. Their heart rate variability was compared to heart rate variability collected on the same singers during an opera which was staged without COVID-19 safety measures before the pandemic necessitated such safety protocols. Performances differed in terms of how many people were on stage at any given time, the distance singers maintained from other performers, the wearing of masks, and whether singers were accompanied by a pianist rather than an orchestra. Furthermore, COVID-19 restrictions prevented the in-person attendance of a live audience. Instead, the immediate audience was made up of colleagues (the off-night cast), and performances were made accessible to members of the general public via a live stream. We compared different measures of heart rate variability between offstage and onstage periods, as well as compared heart rate variability between the non-COVID and COVID performances. Heart rate variability levels were comparable for both performances, and did not interact with differences between offstage and onstage periods. Our results show that despite the wide-ranging effects on opera staging evidenced in our qualitative data there were no effects of COVID-19 restrictions on physiological stress during particular opera performance. This implies that the immediate presence of a general public audience is comparable to the presence of a smaller audience made up of colleagues and the knowledge that a general audience is witnessing the performance via live stream.  

  1. The impact of COVID-19 pandemic on young musicians
    *Anastasios Kyriakou1 & Makiko Sadakata1,2
    1. Music department, University of Amsterdam
    2. Institute for Logic, Language and Computation, University of Amsterdam

The current study portrays the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the COVID-19 restrictions on young musicians. During the past year, concerts and other events in which musicians actively participate, have been reduced dramatically due to COVID-19 restrictions. Young musicians (18-30 age group) are often very vulnerable in terms of employment, as they have less time to find a stable job in their field. We think it is crucial to estimate the effect of the pandemic on young musicians’ daily activities, psychological well-being and future perspectives. In order to estimate this effect, we have distributed a questionnaire targeting young musicians -including young graduates and university/conservatoire students- asking them questions regarding their daily lives, activities, and well-being before and after the COVID-19 outbreak.

More specifically, we asked 25 questions about the impact of the pandemic on their practice durations, lifestyle change, the restrictions enforced by their governments, perceived happiness, and the prospect of the music industry. We have also included the Oxford Happiness Questionnaire (OHQ), which is an established scale for the measurement of psychological well-being.

In the first round of the questionnaire in February, 106 young musicians took part. Most of them are from Cyprus, the UK and the Netherlands, the majority of whom university students with a mean age of 23.6 y.o.). The same participants have received a similar set of questions this April. Notably, the restrictions had changed in some countries while others had stayed similar. By comparing the data from these countries, we hope to highlight a causal effect of COVID-19 and our results. A preliminary analysis indicated that the time spent after the COVID-19 outbreak has been reduced by around 20% and about 67% of the responders believe that their well-being was negatively affected by COVID-19. More detailed data will be presented in the meeting.

  1. Guided Audiomotor Exploration (GAME): Improvisation-based instrumental music training for cochlear implant users
    Eleanor Harding1,2, *Robert Harris1,2, Etienne Gaudrain1,3, Barbara Tillmann3, Christina Fuller1, Rolien Free1, Bert Maat1, Deniz Başkent1
    1. University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Groningen
    2. Prins Claus Conservatorium, Hanze Hogeschool
    3. Lyon Neuroscience Research Centre, Université de Lyon

Hearing loss at any age can substantially affect quality of life. Cochlear implants (CIs) can partially restore hearing by stimulating the auditory nerve electrically. Unfortunately, complex auditory signals, such as found in music or in cocktail- party situations, remain challenging for CI users, largely due to the degradation of information stemming from electrical stimulation. But, through rehabilitation, CI users manage to adapt to these degradations to different degrees. One possible approach to boost rehabilitation in CI users is improvisation-based musical training, such as the Guided Audiomotor Exploration (GAME). As opposed to traditional score-based learning, improvisation-based training promotes audiomotor integration by relying on procedural memory and learning that couple movements on an instrument to sound production. Audiomotor integration, in turn, has been shown to boost activation of the auditory cortex in conjunction with top-down effects. These plastic changes could lead to improved central auditory processing of the degraded input. The current randomized controlled trial will offer GAME to adult CI users. In a pilot study with three CI users, participants enjoyed learning piano, gained personal confidence, and (re)gained appreciation for music. We aim to expand these results, and pursue transfer of learning effects to music and speech perception in CI users.

  1. Musical emotion categorization with simulated cochlear implant hearing *Imke J. Hrycyk1,4, Etienne Gaudrain2, Barbara Tillmann2, Robert Harris3, Bert Maat4, Rolien Free4, Christina Fuller4, Eleanor Harding1,3,4 & Deniz Başkent1,4
    1. Research School of Behavioural and Cognitive Neurosciences, University of Groningen
    2. CNRS, Lyon Neuroscience Research Center, University of Lyon
    3. Prince Claus Conservatoire, Hanze University of Applied Sciences
    4. Dept. Otorhinolaryngology, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen

The ability to hear and appreciate music is crucial to everyday cultural participation and likely contributes to quality of life. Among cochlear implant (CI) users, it is therefore important to not only restore the perception of speech, but also of music. Research has shown that CI users generally report sub-optimal enjoyment for music, and exhibit a high heterogeneity in their perceptual performance, often measured with recognition of melodies and pitch deviations. The present study investigated potential effects of degraded sound, as it can occur in CIs, on the perception of emotions when listening to classical music. In particular, we manipulated carrier type (sinewave, noise), and filter order (4th, 12th) to simulate different levels of spectral resolution. The musical stimuli conveyed one of four emotions (joy, sadness, fear, serenity), which were chosen to correspond to high and low levels of arousal, and to positive and negative valence. The discriminability of each emotion was estimated through the sensitivity index (d’) and from the response bias (c).

Data indicate firstly that categorization accuracy was above chance level for all experimental conditions. Secondly, both vocoder parameters produced significant main effects, suggesting that both a sinusoidal carrier more than noise carrier, and steeper than shallower filters lead to better accuracy in music emotion categorization. Thirdly, in degraded conditions, the error pattern exhibited by the participants was systematic rather than random. A subsequent feature-information-transmission analysis indicated that information about the arousal were predominant in the decision process, while valence was not transmitted properly. These results were also reflected in the analysis of d’ and c, which showed a higher discriminability for joy and fear, both emotions of high arousal, and a bias against sadness and serenity, both emotions of low arousal.

To summarize, it seems that participants benefited from pitch-related cues provided by the sinusoidal carrier and from increased signal clarity provided by steeper filters. The simulation results, thus, imply that this task can be taken by CI users, but spectral resolution and transmitted pitch cues will likely play a determining role. Importantly, while valence information was not recognizable in the manipulated signal, arousal information seemed to be preserved and available within all experimental conditions. It implies that, perhaps, emotional content of certain types of music, for example one with many arousal cues, could be more accessible for CI users than others, potentially contributing to improved music listening and enjoyment.

  1. Becoming a Maestro: Relating practice behavior to exam grades at the conservatoire
    *Joram E. van Ketel1,2 & Guido P. H. Band1

    1. Leiden University, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, Institute of Psychology, Leiden, The Netherlands
    2. Royal Conservatoire The Hague, The Hague, The Netherlands

    The aim of this study was to readdress and relate several conclusions from research on professional musical practice behavior within one study, and with more concise scales. As expected, practice time was not a significant predictor of conservatoire performance grades in a Multinomial Logistic Regression Analysis (MLRA), but contrary to expectations, neither were the recomputed ‘Formal Practice’ variables ‘goal-driven practice’ and ‘focus’, or interactions of these variables with practice time. Some weak support was found for the hypothesized positive effect of a larger number of strategies on exam grades, but not for the effect of an interaction between ‘Formal Practice’ and the number practice strategies. Some limitations on the measures are noteworthy. Especially the use of students’ performance exam grades as measure of musical achievement is taken into consideration: exam grades appeared to be mainly related to study year, musical department, and years of performing experience with the instrument (rather than years practicing the instrument). Such findings may be reason for caution in interpreting conservatoire performance exam grades as clear measure of musical skill.
  2. Cognitive abilities, subjective factors, and musical properties that predict tapping force in young and older adults.
    *Mohammed A. Mudarris1,2, Rebecca S. Schaefer1,3,4

    1. Leiden University, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, Institute of Psychology, Medical, Health, and Neuropsychology Unit
    2. University of Jeddah, College of Science and Arts at Al-Kamil, Department of Communication Skills
    3. Leiden University, Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition, Leiden, The Netherlands
    4. Leiden University, Faculty of Humanities, Academy of the Arts, Leiden, The Netherlands

Rhythmic auditory cueing is increasingly used in clinical settings such as movement rehabilitation, and personalizing interventions is thought to facilitate treatment effectiveness. In two studies, 159 healthy young and older adults (70 males; age 18-87; M = 36; SD = 21.5) completed finger tapping tasks using 38 different music stimuli, measuring the tapping force, a sparsely examined aspect of music-synchronized movement. Participants rated each stimulus, and completed cognitive tasks. A linear mixed model assessing performance on the Stroop task inversely predicted applied force (estimate (66) = 0.935, SE = 0.31, p <0.01), as supported by evidence attributing swing variance in walking, associated with greater energy expenditure, to declines in executive functions. Another model examined musical preference, familiarity, experienced emotional valence and arousal as predictors of tapping force, which revealed preference was a modest but significant predictor of force (estimate = 0.018, SE = 0.008, p = 0.02), in line with previous research associating preference and movement displacement. Participants also tapped significantly harder to music which they recognized as positively valenced (estimate = 0.013, SE = 0.005, p = 0.019), while accounting for tempo, and recognized arousal, which may be attributed to the motivating effects of the music. Surprisingly, no effects of aging on tapping force were observed. These preliminary findings support the personalisation of music-cued interventions in movement rehabilitation, by using music that is perceived as emotionally positively valenced, and is preferred by the patient. While age itself may not be a factor, cognitive testing may inform the suitability for such interventions. Personalizing the music in movement rehabilitation may be vital for engagement and motivation.

  1. The effect of music interventions on emotion in people with dementia: a meta study
    *Lisette Olsthoorn1 & Makiko Sadakata1,2
    1. Music department, University of Amsterdam
    2. Institute for Logic, Language and Computation, University of Amsterdam

The population of people with dementia is growing worldwide, and currently, dementia has no known treatment. Although behavioural and psychological symptoms (BPSD) may be treated with pharmaceutical interventions, these may have large side effects. Music may be used as a non-pharmaceutical intervention as an alternative. However, both empirical studies, meta-analyses and reviews regarding the effects of music interventions of the last decades have shown mixed results. Moreover, no review addressed the effect of music interventions specifically on emotional symptoms. The current study has therefore investigated the effect of music interventions on emotion in people with dementia, through a meta-analysis of studies published in the last decade.

Experimental studies comparing music interventions to either usual care or to another non-pharmacological therapy published between 2010 and 2020 were searched, and 108 studies were identified. After further selection, we included 21 studies in the meta-analysis, investigating the effects of music on affect, anxiety, apathy, mood, and depression. The analysis showed that music interventions have a significant positive, medium effect size on emotional symptoms, mainly decreasing anxiety and depression. Furthermore, this effect size was found when contrasting music interventions to usual care, as well as contrasting it to other therapeutic interventions. None of the studies included showed any adverse effects of music on emotion.

Additionally, we identified some aspects of research which may be improved. This includes increased transparency of protocol and reporting of study statistics, as this may help our understanding of the specific effects of music interventions on emotion in dementia in future research. Overall, our findings suggest that music interventions can be used to improve emotional symptoms in dementia.

  1. How to investigate the ways people are listening to song lyrics? Improving a survey
    *Yke Schotanus1
    1. Institute of Cultural Inquiry, Utrecht University

In my dissertation’s second Chapter I have presented the results of a survey among 453 participants from different countries about the way they handle song lyrics. The results are promising, yet, due to methodological issues and additional related research questions, further research is required. As I am working on my own, without funding, I would like to ask a few questions in order to receive some help and advice from the network colleagues.

In the current experiment the participants answered 17 questions concerning their listening behavior and 6 concerning the kind of lyrics they prefer. The main hypotheses were that people would show various more or less peripheral kinds of listening to song lyrics in different occasions. Some people would claim that they often pay attention to song lyrics consciously, others would claim that they never do so, however, both of them would say that there would be occasions in which they only hear or remember a few lines of a song, in which they turn out to know parts of a song by heart without having learned them, or in which they were touched by a song’s lyrics only after hearing them several times before.

A few questions considered the perception of banalities and linguistic errors, and the role of native language in relation to the language used in a song. Dutch native speakers turn out to be more tolerant towards foreign languages than others, particularly English native speakers. 

Contrary to what is often claimed, these results show that people do not have to catch the content of a song immediately to like it, nor do they neglect the lyrics of a song totally.

However, according to a Journal editor additional research is required. Sample size should be larger (450 Dutch, 450 English, 450 extra language, of wanted). However, there are several methodological questions which keep me from conducting the survey. I would like to ask these. For example I would like to combine the survey with a related one. I also have some questions about the design of that one. 

Poster presentation 2

  1. Individual differences in music behaviors affecting emotional coping style in times of crisis
    *Marijn Coers1,2, Roni Granot3, Daniel H. Spitz4,5, Rebecca S. Schaefer1,2,6
    1. Health, Medical & Neuropsychology unit, Institute of Psychology, Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands
    2. Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition, Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands
    3. Department of Musicology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
    4. Department of Psychology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
    5. School of Business Administration, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
    6. Academy for Creative and Performing Arts, Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands

    Music is often used for emotion regulation, which has been described as having two main forms; antecedent-focused emotion regulation (AF-ER), targeting the inputs of an emotional response, and response-focused emotion regulation (RF-ER), targeting the response itself. Previous literature suggests that various personal characteristics (e.g. age, gender, educational level, levels of stress, musical training/engagement, importance of music in one’s life, resilience) may affect ER-strategy use. The COVID-19 pandemic allows the investigation of regulation of emotions directly related to an ongoing crisis. We explore the predictors of individual differences in musical behaviors on emotion regulation strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic, specifically antecedent- and response-focused strategies.
    719 people (220 male, 499 female) aged between 16 and 85 completed a questionnaire in the fall of 2020 in which they rated music’s effectiveness for specific goals of well-being, as well as ratings of current emotional state, and aspects of musical background. Mean scores for the efficiency of music as AF-ER and RF-ER, as well as for the goal importance of AF-ER and RF-ER were obtained by combining the rated efficiency, as well as the goal importance of ‘enjoyment’ and ‘self-connection’ as antecedent-focused regulation, and that of venting negative emotions’ and ‘diversion’ as response-focused regulation, respectively. Sources of individual variation of these ER-strategies were assessed using linear regression analyses, taking age, gender, educational levels, current stress levels, musical training, importance of music, and resilience as predictors.

The results as expected suggest that the difference score of the importance of antecedent- over response-focused ER is positively correlated with well-being outcomes in terms of resilience, as well as levels of stress, anxiety, and depression. Next to this, music importance and music training better predict antecedent-focused ER than response-focused ER. Moreover, music training and the efficiency of music as either AF-ER or RF-ER positively predict the importance of music in one’s life, indicating that music training, as well as the efficiency of music as either AF-ER or RF-ER predict greater difference scores of the goal importance of AF-ER over RF-ER. However, our result indicate that more music training initially relates to higher levels of stress, despite the greater difference score of the importance of antecedent- over response-focused ER. These results are all in line with previous literature.
We conclude that several personal characteristics (e.g. gender, importance of music in one’s life, and level of stress) yield predictive value on the goal importance of both AF-ER and RF-ER. Here, the approach of either antecedent- or response-focused emotion regulation is also be predicted by several personal characteristics (e.g. age, education level, music training, efficiency of both AF-ER and RF-ER, resilience scores). Music training, as well as the efficiency of music as AF-ER and RF-ER predict greater difference scores of the importance of AF-ER over RF-ER, which is generally positively related to well-being outcomes. However, music training (greater difference score) initially also relates to higher levels of stress.

2. Do Dance and Music Interventions influence Well-being and Emotion Perception in Parkinson Patients? A Pilot Study
*Caro I. Cools1, Annelien Duits2, Sonja A. Kotz3

1. Department of Neuropsychology and Psychopharmacology, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience, Maastricht University
2. Department of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology, Maastricht University Medical Centre
3. Department of Neuropsychology and Psychopharmacology, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience, Maastricht University

Previous music and dance intervention studies with Parkinson disease (PD) patients confirmed not only improved motor but also non-motor symptoms including emotion recognition, well-being, and reduced depression. For example, using rhythmic auditory stimulation (RAS) is promising, as it is now to engage brain areas involved in emotion and cognition. Results from music interventions are also linked to reduced depression and anxiety, improved emotion expression, communication, self-esteem, quality of life (QoL), and even happiness. Similarly, dance interventions seem to positively affect emotion perception, social skills, and QoL, likely due to social effects. Whereas dance is based on social sensorimotor synchronization, music therapy (e.g. RAS) is based on individual sensorimotor synchronization. Thus, both interventions affect motor and non-motor behavior but the impact of the social dimension may differ with regards to improvements. It is yet unclear whether the intervention type can make a difference in intervention success. Therefore, the current study focused on behavioral and symptom changes within and between dance and music interventions, to explore which intervention leads to the best improvement. Twenty PD patients participated in this study by filling in questionnaires and following the interventions. Results based on non-parametric testing confirmed a change in depression scores after both interventions, while both intervention types did not significantly affect emotion recognition or well-being. Crucially, there were no overall differences between intervention types. These preliminary results could be due to the small sample size of the study (due to COVID-19 limitations). We anticipate that an increase in sample size will shed more light on how well dance and music interventions change depression, emotion recognition, and well-being. Gaining more knowledge about possible differential effects of these interventions on PD symptoms will also allow more targeted and individualized treatment strategies.

  1. Fixing Huron’s contour typology
    *Bas Cornelissen1, Willem Zuidema1 & Ashley Burgoyne1
    1. Institute for Logic, Language and Computation, University of Amsterdam

The ‘melodic arch hypothesis’ (Huron, 1996) states that melodic phrases tend to have arch-shaped or descending contours: first going up in pitch, and going down towards the end. Evidence for the hypothesis has been reported in multiple traditions (e.g. Savage et al., 2017), the phenomenon is often cited as a musical universal (Savage et al., 2015), and has been explained as an effect of our vocal system (Tierney et al., 2011). David Huron (1996) famously demonstrated the arch by averaging many phrase contours, but also using a contour typology: convex contours turned out to be very frequent. His typology has been adopted in later studies and is used in some musical feature extractors (Müllensiefen, 2009).

In the current work, we show that the evidence reported by Huron and others depends on a hidden parameter. Huron’s typology assigns a phrase to one of nine contour types by comparing the average pitches A, B and C of the initial, middle and final third of the phrase. For example, if A < B > C the contour type is ‘convex’ (arch-shaped); if A ≈ B > C ‘horizontal-descending’, and so on. Crucially, two pitches are considered equal if they differ less than some tolerance parameter. That parameter strongly influences how frequent certain contour types will be. Previous studies do not report the parameter, or pick a value without motivation. We propose to choose it in such a way that all type frequencies are as balanced as possible: when the type distribution has maximal entropy. This makes it harder to find cultural differences, but therefore strengthens the support for any differences you might nonetheless find.

Analyzing German and Chinese folksongs from Essen (Schaffrath, 1995), we reproduce two earlier findings: convex and descending contours are more common than concave and ascending ones respectively. However, earlier studies apparently missed that descending contours are much more common than convex ones in Chinese folk songs, and less common in German folk songs. This is counterevidence to one particular formulation of the melodic arch hypothesis: that convex contours tend to be most frequent. All this highlights that identifying musical universals requires accurate typologies and precisely formulated generalizations, if only because some can be rejected based on the limited data available.

  1. Does attention influence temporal predictions in sound sequences?
    *Antonio Criscuolo1, Michael Schwartze1, Sonja A. Kotz1
    1. Maastricht University

In this ongoing project, we address the question on how endogenous neural activity subserves emerging subjective beat and rhythm processing. Further, we are investigating if, how, and when attention plays a role in these emergent processes.

Participants listened to an oddball sequence (640 tones) consisting of two equidurational sinusoidal tones (a frequent standard (512) and an infrequent (128) pitch deviant). We manipulated the temporal structure of the sequence to obtain temporally regular (isochronous) and random (jittered inter-stimulus-interval) conditions. Participants listened to these sequences either attentively (deviance detection) or passively. Of note, attention was not focused on the temporal structure of the tone sequences in either attention condition. Thus, we were able to effectively investigate how attention affects the temporal processing of (a)periodic stimuli.

We hypothesized that (i) the emergence of a beat results from spontaneous phase alignment of neural activity to tones in predicted beat positions. This emergence would represent endogenous and active segmentation of isochronous sequences into patterns of repeating and predicted events. Such patterning would also indicate the subjective salience of a tone (or event), creating (ii) a periodic alternation of “strong-weak” (on- / off-beat) events. These processes should further be reflected in power peaks at stimulation- and beat-frequencies and differences in the amplitude of evoked responses on- / off-beat. Notably, (iii) when predictability is altered (non-isorhythmic sequences), no subjective beat should emerge.

We further hypothesized that (iv) audio-motor coupling may underlie beat and rhythm processing. Inter-regional connectivity may resemble a hierarchical functional organization, whereby (pre-)motor regions top-down modulate auditory areas via beta-band activity. Thus, inter-subject and inter-trial variabilities in the strength of audio-motor coupling (as indexed by metrics of coherence) should be associated with variability in rhythm tracking (phase-locking) and beat processing (on-/ off-beat alternation).

Lastly, we plan on testing the hypothesis that (v) attention may influence the ascribed temporal patterning by modulating audio-motor coupling.

Overall, this project aims at deepening our understanding of how we process sensory inputs and if and how we exploit temporal information, predictions, and attention to foster behavior.

  1. Getting older; is there a relation between ageing and the use of background music?
    *Jannie de Leeuw Winkels1 & Makiko Sadakata1,2
    1. Music department, University of Amsterdam
    2. Institute for Logic, Language and Computation, University of Amsterdam

Music is an essential part of our everyday life. Not only attentive listening but also people use it in the background of various activities, such as reading and exercising. A previous study by Goltz and Sadakata (submitted) found that when people are involved in more challenging tasks, they use less BGM (background music) in general, or even when they use BGM, the choice of music becomes more critical. Interestingly, the same study also reported a negative correlation between the frequency of BGM and the age of participants. Such generation difference may stem from affinity to technology but also from the age-related change of cognitive capacity. Because the previous study was not conclusive about this effect, we plan to follow up by replicating the age-frequency negative correlation and highlighting potential underlying factors. We plan to collect 20 respondents per age group of ten years, in the range of 16 years – 85 years old, and ask how people use BGM during their reading, writing, critical thinking and memorizing. We also try to gain some insight into changes due to the Coved pandemic. The preliminary results will be discussed.

  1. Does live music improve postoperative cognitive status in older adults?
    *Danielle Dijkema1,2, Hanneke van der Wal-Huisman1, Barbara. L. van Leeuwen1 & Eleanor Harding3
    1. Department of Surgery, University Medical Center Groningen
    2. Clinical Neuropsychology, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, University of Amsterdam
    3. Department of ENT, University Medical Center Groningen

As human life expectancy increases globally, more surgery is being performed on older adults. Due to their changed physiology and increased vulnerability, older patients are more susceptible to postoperative complications such as postoperative delirium and cognitive decline than younger patients. Evidence suggests that these complications are induced by an inflammatory response of the immune system. Research shows that music can mediate psychological stress affecting the immune system, such as lowering cortisol, enhancing neurogenesis and repairing cerebral nerves. Music has, to the best of our knowledge, no toxic side effects and therefore seems an attractive intervention for older adult patients who are more prone to develop complications. In the Meaningful Music in Healthcare; MiMiC project, trained musicians play live bedside music for surgical patients, consisting of memorized repertoire and patient centered improvisations. Results of the MiMiC practice show positive effects on experienced pain and anxiety in elder surgical patients, but effects on cognitive functioning are not yet determined.

The current planned study aims to explore the effects of MiMiC on postoperative delirium and longer term postoperative cognitive status in older postoperative patients. The incidence of delirium (Delirium Observation Scale) will be compared between a MiMiC group (N = 108) and a care-as-usual control group (N = 79) (two proportion z-test). It is expected that in older adults, live bedside music decreases the incidence of postoperative delirium compared to care-as-usual.

Furthermore, it is expected that postoperative cognitive ability in older adult patients (Telephone Interview Cognitive Screening, TICS-m; N = 30) is improved after participating in MiMiC, compared to published data from a similar care-as-usual population (one-sample t-test).

The COVID-19 pandemic, however, impacts prospective data collection both due to the risks of live bedside music, such as aerosols emitted from wind instruments, as well as the lowered accessibility of hospitals for student researchers in general. We have developed COVID-compatible alterations to our design to overcome some of these caveats, and hope that adaptations such as cloth coverings on instruments and cognitive tests conducted over the telephone can facilitate the prospective aspect of this live music intervention design.

  1. Is There a Musician Advantage in Speech-on-speech Perception in Older Age?
    *Ryan Gray1,2, Laura Rachman3,2, Etienne Gaudrain4,3, Anastasios Sarampalis1,2, Eleanor Harding3,2, & Deniz Başkent3,2
    1. Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Groningen
    2. Research School of Behavioural and Cognitive Neurosciences, University of Groningen
    3. Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen
    4. Lyon Neuroscience Research Center, CNRS, University of Lyon

In older age, understanding speech masked by concurrent speech is a skill necessary for social interaction in everyday life. Previous research has suggested that musicians have an advantage over non-musicians when understanding speech in noise as well as speech-on-speech. However, this advantage has mostly been observed in younger adults. When it comes to older adults, it is not yet known if such an advantage is still available. Similarly, the mechanisms that underpin any musician advantage are still debated. For instance, it remains unclear to what extent the observed musician advantage in speech-on-speech perception is due to gains at the perceptual level (such as pitch perception), and/or cognitive advantages (such as better working memory capacity).

This study therefore aims to explore whether older musicians perform better than older non-musicians during a speech-on-speech perception task. Older adults aged 60 and above, with normal hearing, are aimed to be recruited and take part in an online version of the Dutch Coordinate Response Measure (CRM) in their own home. This task requires participants to recall key words (numbers, colors) from a target, spoken sentence, when masked by another similarly spoken sentence. Musicianship will be defined using the common and standard criteria reported in the extant literature. Analyses will be conducted to investigate the differences in target accuracy between musicians and non-musicians. Given the musician advantage reported in speech-on-speech perception in younger adults, we expect older musicians to outperform non-musicians on the CRM task. If our hypothesis is supported, the findings could advocate the need for more music-based interventions for older adults that could help improve listening skills for speech in background noise.

  1. Effects of rhythmic complexity on liking and urge to move: Investigating syncopation and repetition
    *Laura C. M. Kuijper1, Christopher S. Lee2, Rebecca S. Schaefer1,3

    1- Institute of Psychology, Leiden University, The Netherlands
    2- Dept of Psychology, Goldsmiths College, University of London, UK
    3- Academy of Creative and Performing Arts, Leiden University, The Netherlands

Subjective reactions to music, such as liking, or feeling an urge to move, are thought to be influenced by musical or rhythmic complexity. Previous studies generally manipulated complexity either by adding repetition or instances of syncopation (defined as an emphasis on weak metrical positions, or an absence of emphasis on strong metrical positions). Previous studies report an inverted U- curve for subjective ratings of pleasure with musical complexity, but often do not take repetition into account. We aim to disentangle the effects of syncopation and repetition, as sources of rhythmic complexity, on the subjective ratings of urge to move, liking, and beat clarity.

Forty-one participants, (22 female, Mage 21.6 y., sd = 4.8, range = 17-41) rated 10-second rhythmic fragments with three different levels of syncopation according to Witek et al.’s  (2014) syncopation index (0, 26, or 52), and two levels of repetition (yes/no). Ratings of beat clarity, liking, and urge to move were given in separate listening blocks, and a questionnaire on musical sophistication was administered. Effects of syncopation and repetition were assessed using 2×3 repeated-measures ANOVAs, correcting for sphericity using the Greenhouse-Geisser correction for all degrees of freedom of syncopation. All tested outcome measures showed a main effect of repetition, with non-repeating rhythms scoring lower than repeating rhythms on liking (F(1,40) = 16.866, p < 0.001), urge to move (F(1, 40) = 13.69, p < 0.001), and beat clarity (F(1,40) = 57.735, p < 0.001). Syncopation only affected two factors, with low-syncopated rhythms scoring lower than mid- and high-syncopated rhythms on liking (F(1.236,80) = 17.732, p < 0.001), and urge to move (F(1.481, 80) = 44.726, p < 0.001), and no difference is seen between the mid or high syncopated stimuli. Syncopation level did not affect ratings of beat clarity.
While repetition affects all analysed ratings of subjective experience, syncopation affects only liking and wanting to move, and has no effect on beat clarity. Furthermore there is no decrease in ratings of liking and wanting to move at higher levels of syncopation, thereby only partially reproducing previous findings of an inverted U-shape. Additional analyses of musical background and higher levels of syncopation are underway.
The effects of different kinds of musical or rhythmic complexity should be considered when designing future research. Additionally, as the syncopation index does not take repetition into account, this measure may not in itself be the strongest predictor of subjective experiences of music.

Witek et al. (2015). PLOS ONE 10(9): e0139409.