Slow and fast beat sequences are represented differently through space
The Spatial-Numerical Association of Response Codes (SNARC) suggests the existence of an association between number magnitude and response position, with faster left-hand responses to small numbers and faster right-hand responses to large numbers. Recent studies have revealed similar spatial association effects for non-numerical magnitudes, such as temporal durations and musical stimuli. In the present study we investigated whether a spatial association effect exists between music tempo, expressed in beats per minutes (bpm), and response position. In particular, we were interested whether this effect is consistent through different bpm ranges. We asked participants to judge whether a target beat sequence was faster or slower than a reference sequence. Three groups of participants judged beat sequences from three different bpm ranges, a wide range (40, 80, 160, 200 bpm) and two narrowed ranges (“slow” tempo, 40, 56, 88, 104 bpm; “fast” tempo 133, 150, 184, 201 bpm). Results showed a clear SNARC-like effect for music tempo only in the narrowed “fast” tempo range, with faster left-hand responses to 133 and 150 bpm and faster right-hand responses to 184 and 201 bpm. Conversely, a similar association did not emerge in the wide nor in the narrowed "slow" tempo ranges. This evidence suggests that music tempo is spatially represented as other continuous quantities, but its representation might be narrowed to a particular range of tempi. Moreover, music tempo and temporal duration might be represented across space with an opposite direction.
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Citation : De Tommaso, M., Prpic, V. (2019) Slow and fast beat sequences are represented differently through space. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics,
ISSN : 1943-3921
Research Institute : Institute for Psychological Science