MARCS Monday Meeting (MMM)

Event Name MARCS Monday Meeting (MMM)
Start Date 28 Oct 2019 11:00 am
End Date 28 Oct 2019 12:00 pm
Duration 1 hour
Please join us at the next MMM with talks by Professor Roger Dean on 'Timbre Networks' and Associate Professor Paola Escudero on 'Infants use of phonetic detail', a study recently accepted for publication.

Speaker: Professor Roger Dean

Title: Timbre Networks

Abstract: In work with Felix Dobrowohl and Yvonne Leung, we investigated how people create orderings of short timbres in two different task conditions. The purpose was to demonstrate that different conditions determine different relations between the members of a fixed set of 30 sounds. As I have described previously in some fora, this expectation was confirmed. Today I describe briefly how I applied descriptive and generative network modelling to treat the adjacency data describing the orderings as a network rather than simply a distance mapping (as in most timbre distance studies with multidimensional scaling). By treating the two different tasks as steps in the evolution of individuals’ cognition of the relations between timbres, we find that our generative models suggest that all possible inter-relations amongst the timbres are readily exploited. From the perspective of a composer, this is an encouraging and useful outcome. From that of music cognition in general, especially taken in a framework of ecological cognition and biological utility, it also makes good sense.

Speaker: Associate Professor Paola Escudero

Title: Infants use phonetic detail when detail is easy to perceive

We investigated 15-month-olds’ ability to distinguish novel words that differ by a single vowel in an auditory discrimination and a word-learning paradigm. The study was motivated by previous literature showing that infants successfully discriminate native speech sound contrasts, but encounter difficulties in distinguishing the same contrasts in the context of word learning. These difficulties are usually attributed to the fact that infants’ attention to the phonetic detail in novel words is attenuated when they must allocate additional cognitive resources demanded by word-learning tasks. We aimed to tease apart whether infants’ performance is dependent solely on the specific acoustic properties of the target vowels or on the context of the task. The results of two experiments show that both the specific acoustic properties of vowels in the infant’s native language as well as the task presented continue to play a significant role in early speech perception well into the second year of life.

We thank you for your continued attendance at the MMM's.  Let's keep the momentum going.

MARCS staff and students are reminded that all meetings and workshops have an important role in building and maintaining the sense of community which is central to the success of MARCS as a cooperative and energetic research institute.  Your attendance is both welcomed and expected.

The zoom ID is: 627 146 998. Link to zoom