Goldsmiths - University of London

Earworms from three angles

Williamson, Victoria J. and Müllensiefen, Daniel. 2012. Earworms from three angles. In: E Cambouropoulos,; C Tsougras; P Mavromatis and K Pastias, eds. Proceedings of the ICMPC -­‐ ESCOM 2012 Joint Conference: 12th Biennial International Conference for Music Perception and Cognition 8th Triennial Conference of the European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music. Thessaloniki: School of Music Studies, Aristotle University of Thessalonki, pp. 1124-1133. ISBN 978 - 960 - 99845 - 1 - 5 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

Involuntary, spontaneous cognitions are common, everyday experiences that occur against a backdrop of deliberate goal-directed mentation (Christoff, Ream & Gabrieli, 2004). One such phenomenon may hold special promise for empirical investigatio n of this often elusive experience. Involuntary musical imagery (IN MI) or ‘earworms’ are vivid, identifiable, and affect 91.7% of the population at least once a week (Liikkanen, 2012). tilizing an online survey instrument (http://earwormery.com/) we collected several thousand reports of earworm episodes, in collaboration with the BBC. Study 1 employed a qualitative grounded theory analysis to explore themes relating to the situationalantecedents of INMI experiences (Williamson et al.,2011). The analysis revealed four main trigger themes for INMI experiences and categorized the role of ifferent music media. Study 2 used structural equation modeling (SEM) to relate individual differences in INMI characteristics and isolated an influence of obsess ive compulsive traits. Study 3 comprised a computational analysis of the musical structure of several hundred earworm tunes and compared them to matched control tunes. A statistical classification model was employed to predict whether a tune could be classified as an earworm based on its melodic features. The use of INMI as a model of spontaneous cognition has generated findings regarding the phenomenological experience as well as the role of different behavioural and cognitive contributing factors. This body of work demonstrates the feasibility of studying spontaneous cognitions through musical imagery, which has the potential to enhance our understanding of the intricate relationships between cognitive control, involuntary memory, and the environment

Item Type: Book Section

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Date Deposited:

13 May 2014 14:06

Last Modified:

04 Jul 2017 10:16

URI: http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/10192

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