MIB guest talk: Renee Timmers

Dr Renee Timmers from Department of Music at The University of Sheffield visits MIB and gives talk on the role of audio-visual information in playing along with a co-performer.

14.11.2017 | Hella Kastbjerg

Dato man 30 apr
Tid 13:30 14:30
Sted Meeting room 5th floor, DNC Building 10G, AUH Nørrebrogade


The role of audio-visual information in playing along with a co-performer: A TMS study


Successful ensemble performance is accomplished through a combination of sensory-motor processes. It relies on attention given to the performance of self and others, it includes anticipation of when and what others will be playing, and it involves adjustment to the performance of others in case of synchronisation discrepancies. Both visual and auditory aspects of a co-performer’s performance feed into these processes of attention, expectation, and adjustment / ensemble performance. The central question of this study was to examine what the role is of visual information in particular, how visual information is interpreted, and whether this depends on the sharing of musical expertise between co-performers. A study was conducted that asked musically trained participants to play along and synchronise as closely as possible with pre-recorded piano performances. These piano performances were presented in an audio-only format, audio-visual format including video recordings of the lower arm and hand of the co-performer, and in an audio-animation format, including an animation of the hand movements of the co-performer. Furthermore, three TMS conditions were included that investigated the role for co-performer synchronisation of motor simulation of the actions of the co-performer (through stimulation of the right dorsal premotor cortex), and of the integration of audio-visual information (through stimulation of the right intra-parietal cortex). These two stimulation conditions were compared to a sham stimulation condition. Participants were musicians of various levels of pianistic expertise, ranging from no piano expertise, but a high level on a different instrument, to professional pianist. Results show significant interactions between the effects of TMS and the effects of pianistic expertise. This interaction was only present in the conditions where visual information was presented in addition to auditory information. With greater levels of pianistic expertise, the role of motor simulation for precise synchronisation was found to increase. While for participants with limited pianistic expertise, interference of audio-visual integration through TMS stimulation was found to benefit accurate synchronisation. This beneficial effect decreased with pianist expertise. These results demonstrate a change in interpretation of visual information with increased pianistic expertise and a related change in the involvement of brain areas in the synchronisation process.

Symposium, Forskning, Alle grupper, Musicinthebrain, Musicinthebrain, Arrangement