The BAND-lab at Pint of Science

BAND-lab’s Xan Duggirala organised an event at the inaugural Pint of Science festival in May 2019 in Maastricht. The post-doc Katerina Kandylaki and the collaborator Andrea Ravignani presented their research in a fun and accessible way. We do the science and its communication.

In the above picture the participants are clapping to the beats of language, discovering an isochronous rhythm in poetry and a free rhythm in prose.

 

New paper: From story comprehension to the neurobiology of language

We are proud to present our new publication, the editorial of the special issue on story comprehension “From story comprehension to the neuorobiology of language” in the Language, Cognition, and Neuroscience journal of Taylor Francis.

Three BAND-lab members were involved in this special issue. Sonja Kotz and Laura Verga wrote about “Putting language back into ecological communication contexts”. Katerina Kandylaki edited the special issue, together with Ina Bornkessel-Schlesewsky of the University of South Australia.

index

Schultz MIDI Benchmarking Toolbox now available!

Ever wanted to test the timing of your MIDI  percussion pads, sound modules, and instrument patches? Well now you can! The SMIDIBT is available and the scripts are free to download:

https://rdcu.be/LQJQ

If you have any comments or questions, feel free to contact Ben Schultz: ben.schultz@maastrichtuniversity.nl

 

Reference

Schultz, B. G. (2018). The Schultz MIDI Benchmarking Toolbox for MIDI interfaces, percussion pads, and sound cards, Behavior Research Methods.

Beat Gestures and Syntactic Parsing: An ERP Study

The second part of a project investigating the relationship between prosody and speaker’s gestures, in collaboration with Lauren Fromont (Montreal) and Salvador Soto-Faraco (Barcelona), has been published now. If you want to read the whole story, check this out:

Fromont L.A., Soto-Faraco S., and Biau E. (2017) Searching High and Low: Prosodic Breaks Disambiguate Relative Clauses. Front. Psychol. 8:96.

Biau, E., Fromont, L. A. and Soto-Faraco, S. (2017), Beat Gestures and Syntactic Parsing: An ERP Study. Language Learning. doi:10.1111/lang.12257

Blind people learn metrical and nonmetrical rhythms differently than the sighted

The article can be read here for free (for a limited time): http://rdcu.be/vTrT

When learning rhythms, sighted people tend to learn rhythms better when they induce a sense of beat (i.e., metrical rhythms) compared to when they don’t (i.e., nonmetrical rhythms). This experiment shows that blind people demonstrated the reverse trend; they learned nonmetrical rhythms better than metrical rhythms. These results suggest that the blind might be more sensitive to rhythms that are irregular, perhaps as a survival mechanism to detect changes in the environment that signal danger.

Breaking Research: How the vocal tract changes when speaking and singing

Benjamin Schultz, Joao Correia, and Michel Belyk have been examining changes in the vocal tract while speaking, whistling, and singing. Here, one of our singers aims to sing with as clear a tone as possible. Notice how the throat is nice and open:

 

Here, the same singer aims to mimic Louis Armstrong’s raspy vocal style. The throat pathway is considerably smaller and tense:

 

 

More videos will arrive soon – watch this space!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Searching high and low: Prosodic breaks disambiguate relative clauses

New published article:

In this paper, we investigated how some modulations in the speaker’s voice may impact the interpretation of ambiguous sentences on the listener’s side. We showed that the simple placement of prosodic breaks (i.e. short silences) at different key anchors in auditory sentences was enough to flip listeners’ preference toward an interpretation or the other. So be careful, silences speak your mind!

Fromont L.A., Soto-Faraco S., and Biau E. (2017) Searching High and Low: Prosodic Breaks Disambiguate Relative Clauses. Front. Psychol. 8:96. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00096

Check this out: http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00096/full