Dr. Peter Cariani
» Watch a video introduction featuring one of the course instructors.
(RM - 220K)
This course is a survey of perceptual and cognitive aspects of the psychology of music, with special emphasis on underlying neuronal and neurocomputational representations and mechanisms. Basic perceptual dimensions of hearing (pitch, timbre, consonance/roughness, loudness, auditory grouping) form salient qualities, contrasts, patterns and streams that are used in music to convey melody, harmony, rhythm and separate voices. Perceptual, cognitive, and neurophysiological aspects of the temporal dimension of music (rhythm, timing, duration, temporal expectation) are explored. Special topics include comparative, evolutionary, and developmental psychology of music perception, biological vs. cultural influences, Gestaltist vs. associationist vs. schema-based theories, comparison of music and speech perception, parallels between music cognition and language, music and cortical action, and the neural basis of music performance.