August 2023
Volume 23, Issue 9
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   August 2023
Processing load in pitch and rhythm notation reflects the discriminatory eye responses
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Hyun Ji Kim
    School of Psychology, Korea University
  • Cahi-Youn Kim
    School of Psychology, Korea University
  • Footnotes
    Acknowledgements  NRF-2020R1F1A1076336
Journal of Vision August 2023, Vol.23, 4760. doi:
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    • Get Citation

      Hyun Ji Kim, Cahi-Youn Kim; Processing load in pitch and rhythm notation reflects the discriminatory eye responses. Journal of Vision 2023;23(9):4760.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

  • Supplements

Reading musical notation requires the process of pitch and rhythmic information simultaneously. However, little is known about the perceptual characteristics of score reading according to the processing load in pitch and rhythm. Here, we examined whether eye responses reflect differences of the processing load during score reading. The processing load (high vs. low) were manipulated by tonality and complexity for pitch and rhythm respectively. High processing load in pitch was composed with accidentals (atonal), whereas low processing load was composed without accidentals(tonal). High processing load in rhythm(complex) was composed with 16th note, syncopation and triplet, whereas low processing load in rhythm(simple) was composed with half and quarter note. Each of the three blocks comprised four stimulus conditions (8 stimuli per each condition)–tonal-simple, tonal-complex, atonal-simple, and atonal-complex in a randomized order. All participants(N=35) maintained a fixation cross where treble clef appeared with their heads fixed on a chin rest. After 2000ms, a score was presented and participants were asked to read the score according to the metronome while their eye responses were recorded by the eye tracker (Eyelink-1000, SR Research). We found the significant effect in fixation count for pitch and rhythm by the greater count in the high processing load in pitch and rhythm. However, fixation duration showed no significant effect. We further scoped specific AOIs (areas of interest) of fixation count and duration. We found the significant effect in rhythm showing greater count and duration in the high processing load compared to the low processing load. Our results showed that the high processing load was associated with the greater fixation count and duration, particularly for the areas of the scores where the critical information was presented determining the processing load. These results suggest that the processing load in music can be reflected on the eye responses.


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