Dance and Music in "Gangnam Style": How Dance Observation Affects Meter Perception

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Dance and music often co-occur as evidenced when viewing choreographed dances or singers moving while performing. This study investigated how the viewing of dance motions shapes sound perception. Previous research has shown that dance reflects the temporal structure of its accompanying music, communicating musical meter (i.e. a hierarchical organization of beats) via coordinated movement patterns that indicate where strong and weak beats occur. Experiments here investigated the effects of dance cues on meter perception, hypothesizing that dance could embody the musical meter, thereby shaping participant reaction times (RTs) to sound targets occurring at different metrical positions. In experiment 1, participants viewed a video with dance choreography indicating 4/4 meter (dance condition) or a series of color changes repeated in sequences of four to indicate 4/4 meter (picture condition). A sound track accompanied these videos and participants reacted to timbre targets at different metrical positions. Participants had the slowest RT's at the strongest beats in the dance condition only. In experiment 2, participants viewed the choreography of the horse-riding dance from Psy's "Gangnam Style" in order to examine how a familiar dance might affect meter perception. Moreover, participants in this experiment were divided into a group with experience dancing this choreography and a group without experience. Results again showed slower RTs to stronger metrical positions and the group with experience demonstrated a more refined perception of metrical hierarchy. Results likely stem from the temporally selective division of attention between auditory and visual domains. This study has implications for understanding: 1) the impact of splitting attention among different sensory modalities, and 2) the impact of embodiment, on perception of musical meter. Viewing dance may interfere with sound processing, particularly at critical metrical positions, but embodied familiarity with dance choreography may facilitate meter awareness. Results shed light on the processing of multimedia environments.
Publisher
PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE
Issue Date
2015-08
Language
English
Article Type
Article
Keywords

CROSS-MODAL INTERACTIONS; VISUAL RHYTHMS; BEAT PERCEPTION; SYNCHRONIZATION; HEARING; TIME; VISION; PERFORMANCE; MOVEMENT; SEQUENCES

Citation

PLOS ONE, v.10, no.8

ISSN
1932-6203
DOI
10.1371/journal.pone.0134725
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10203/208870
Appears in Collection
HSS-Journal Papers(저널논문)
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