On the science of mind-wandering and how music can contribute to it

Our minds are travelling all the time: at work, in class, while commuting, even when making love (Killingsworth & Gilbert, 2010). The urge to escape the present moment is so pressing that many of us decide to invest considerable amount of time and money in training our brains to mindfulness, in the hope of cracking the … Continue reading On the science of mind-wandering and how music can contribute to it

Is the Perception of Consonance and Dissonance Universal?

In 1996 the prestigious Nature journal published an intriguing report by Marcel Zentner and Jerome Kagan entitled Perception of Music by Infants. The results suggested that infants prefer consonance (the relative attractiveness of different pitch combinations) over dissonance (the relative unattractiveness of different pitch combinations). The findings brought some much-needed light on the age-old debate regarding the role of … Continue reading Is the Perception of Consonance and Dissonance Universal?

The reviewing process: deal with it!

It is not often that we get to write in a free, unrestricted manner in academia as for example in a blog. Usually, everything and anything we write, whether it be a paper for a journal, a conference presentation, or a departmental seminar talk, is weighted, measured, and, as it is sometimes the case, it … Continue reading The reviewing process: deal with it!

Open Data in Music and Science

We have all heard about the replication crisis in psychology. It is not that the research ideas or methods themselves are flakey but selective analysis and reporting as well as insufficient details are making the past findings difficult to replicate (see also the discussion at the end of one of the rare replication studies in … Continue reading Open Data in Music and Science

Inside a String Quartet

Researchers at the Music and Science Lab have enjoyed a unique collaboration with BBC Radio 3 and musicians from the Royal Northern Sinfonia.  The BBC’s Free Thinking festival, broadcast live from the Sage Gateshead, features the fruits of this collaboration, as we discuss analysis of the performances of two string quartet movements by Sophie Appleton … Continue reading Inside a String Quartet

What is an impact of an article? (Part II)

As described in Part I (What is an impact of an article?), there are several ways of assessing the merits of an article. Article-level metrics avoid some of the problems associated with the publication forums and the costs involved in expert evaluations, but these do introduce other dilemmas worth discussing. An article may sometimes be cited for reasons … Continue reading What is an impact of an article? (Part II)

What is an impact of an article? (Part I)

We all strive to do and publish high quality research and most of us think we know such work when reading it, but how do we collectively gauge the quality of journal articles? And why should we try to weigh scholarly outputs anyway? Well, such appraisal might be attractive and useful when describing the overall … Continue reading What is an impact of an article? (Part I)