Poster A86, Saturday, March 24, 1:30–3:30 pm, Exhibit Hall C
Collective listening: Effects of groove, tempo, and visual coupling among audience members on physical engagement with the music
Laurel Trainor1,2, Dobromir Dotov1, Daniel Bosnyak1; 1McMaster University, 2Rotman Research Institute
Music has a bonding role in social groups. Motor synchronization as a mechanism for social interaction has been investigated in dyads but it is more difficult to ascertain analogous effects in large groups. Does listening to music in a group versus individually lead to higher physical responses? Does it facilitate social engagement and is synchronized movement instrumental? We conducted a behavioral study with 33 participants who listened collectively to musical pieces while their head movements were recorded. Visual cues to movements of others were manipulated by asking audience members to close their eyes on half of the trials. Separate songs were selected for each combination of low/high groove and slow/fast tempo. The first two latent vectors extracted from head movements with principal component analysis showed oscillatory patterns with greater amplitude in eyes-open conditions and higher frequency in high-groove conditions. Movement energy was highest with eyes-open and with high-groove songs. This is consistent with social facilitation. Energy was positively correlated with grooviness ratings. Additionally, the contribution of the second latent vector increased with high-groove songs, indicating more diversified, higher-dimensional movements. The role of visual coupling was further investigated using relational measures such as event synchronization and the maximum cross-correlation between participants. Synchronization was higher in eyes-open trials. In the eyes-open high-tempo conditions pairs of participants who were visually coupled were better coordinated than pairs of participants who were separated by a large distance, suggesting that the social facilitation was partly dependent on movement coordination.
Topic Area: PERCEPTION & ACTION: Audition