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See detailSpatial associations for musical stimuli: a piano in the head?
Lidji, Pascale; Kolinsky, Regine; Lochy, Aliette UL et al

in Journal of experimental psychology. Human perception and performance (2007), 33(5), 1189-207

This study was aimed at examining whether pitch height and pitch change are mentally represented along spatial axes. A series of experiments explored, for isolated tones and 2-note intervals, the ... [more ▼]

This study was aimed at examining whether pitch height and pitch change are mentally represented along spatial axes. A series of experiments explored, for isolated tones and 2-note intervals, the occurrence of effects analogous to the spatial numerical association of response codes (SNARC) effect. Response device orientation (horizontal vs. vertical), task, and musical expertise of the participants were manipulated. The pitch of isolated tones triggered the automatic activation of a vertical axis independently of musical expertise, but the contour of melodic intervals did not. By contrast, automatic associations with the horizontal axis seemed linked to music training for pitch and, to a lower extent, for intervals. These results, discussed in the light of studies on number representation, provide a new example of the effects of musical expertise on music cognition. [less ▲]

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