October 2014 - News!

Conferences, Symposiums, Workshops    view all upcoming

  • Music Care Conference - Music Through the Lifespan, October 25, 2014, 9 am - 4:30 pm, ROSZA CENTRE, University of CalgaryLINK

  • 32nd International Conference on Psychology and the Arts will be held at the University of Malta, Valletta, Malta, June 24-28, 2015. LINK

  • Ninth Triennial Conference of the European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music (ESCOM) 17-22 August 2015, Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, UK. Abstract deadline 29 December 2014. NB -  Singing is one of the topic areas for submissions.  LINK

  • Shared Processing in Language and Music - What Neurocognition and Disorders Reveal", March 27th & 28th 2015, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands Extended Abstract submission deadline: October 31st 2014. Notification of acceptance: November 30th. For more information contact splm-fgw@uva.nl   LINK



  • The latest AIRS newsletter provides an update on the activities that have engaged the members of AIRS over the last months, and also includes news about our current and future research directions.  LINK

  • Congratulations to Godfrey Baldacchino, co-leader of Sub-theme 3.1 Singing and Cultural Understanding, who has been elected President of the International Small Islands Studies Association (ISISA).

  • Employment Opportunity:  Assistant Professor, Applied Voice, School of Creative and Performing Arts, University of Calgary, Alberta.   LINK


Recent Publications

  • The Acoustic Correlates of Valence Depend on Emotion Family. Michel Belyk, Steven Brown. Journal of Voice, Volume 28, Issue 4, July 2014, Pages 523.e9–523.e18. DOI: 10.1016/j.jvoice.2013.12.007.  LINK

The voice expresses a wide range of emotions through modulations of acoustic parameters such as frequency and amplitude. Although the acoustics of individual emotions are well understood, attempts to describe the acoustic correlates of broad emotional categories such as valence have yielded mixed results. In the present study, we analyzed the acoustics of emotional valence for different families of emotion. We divided emotional vocalizations into “motivational,” “moral,” and “aesthetic” families as defined by the OCC (Ortony, Clore, and Collins) model of emotion. Subjects viewed emotional scenarios and were cued to vocalize congruent exclamations in response to them, for example, “Yay!” and “Damn!”. Positive valence was weakly associated with high-pitched and loud vocalizations. However, valence interacted with emotion family for both pitch and amplitude. A general acoustic code for valence does not hold across families of emotion, whereas family-specific codes provide a more accurate description of vocal emotions. These findings are consolidated into a set of “rules of expression” relating vocal dimensions to emotion dimensions.


September 2014 - News!

Conferences, Symposiums, Workshops    view all upcoming

  • The McMaster Institute for Music & the Mind announces the 10th Annual NeuroMusic Conference: Performance, Gesture and Social Interaction in Music, to be held on Sunday, September 28, 2014 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. The LiveLab is directed by AIRS co-investibator Laurel Trainor and AIRS co-investigator Steven Brown is a key collaborator. Blair Ellis is a graduate student in the MIMM Music and Neuroscience Program. Poster Abstracts deadline has been extended to September 8. Click here for a poster about this event. Click here for a PDF with the registration link

  • Ninth Triennial Conference of the European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music (ESCOM) 17-22 August 2015, Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, UK. Abstract deadline 29 December 2014. NB -  Singing is one of the topic areas for submissions.  Link

  • Opera and Media of the Future: October 24 & 25 2014 at Glyndebourne, Lewes, East Sussex, UK.  Link for further information on the event, including programme, registration details, etc.

    The Centre for Research in Opera and Music Theatre at the University of Sussex is pleased to announce a new research initiative to examine the challenges and opportunities of new media technologies for the future of opera. The project will be launched by a two-day event hosted by Glyndebourne Opera bringing academics, artists and opera professionals together to examine a wide range of issues from opera cinecasts and webcasts to the use of new media platforms for audience development, marketing and education, and the implications of new media for the forms of opera itself.



  • Dr. Karen Ludke who has been working on the AIRS Digital Library in a postdoctoral position is now moving on to a faculty position at Edge Hill University in the UK.  While working full-time with AIRS, Karen with team-mates Tom Germaine and Ryan Sampson created the new functional prototype  for the AIRS Digital Library  allowing for batch entry and permissions, two key functions required by the AIRS Collaboration. The system is being tested before a more general release to the AIRS community.  Karen also assisted on many other projects of AIRS including the Student Early-Career Workshop, the AIRS Multicultural Choir, AIRS Book Project,  research with Dr. Bing-Yi Pan  on the role of singing in language learning, and AIRS social media such as Twitter.  Karen will be greatly missed and fortunately she will be staying connected with AIRS.  We wish her much continued success in her new position and thank her for her many contributions to AIRS.

  • Jane Ginsborg, AIRS Co-investigator and President of ESCOM informs AIRS of the Ninth Triennial Conference of the European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music (ESCOM)  17-22 August 2015, Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, UK. Abstract deadline 29 December 2014. NB -  Singing is one of the topic areas for submissions.   Link

  • SSHRC Postdoctoral Opportunity - Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents  Deadline September 24   Link

Recent Publications

  • Rhythmic Priming Enhances Speech Production Abilities: Evidence From Prelingually Deaf Children.  Cason, Nia; Hidalgo, Céline; Isoard, Florence; Roman, Stéphane; Schön, Daniele. Neuropsychology, Jul 28 , 2014, DOI: 10.1037/neu0000115   Link

Objective: Following recent findings that rhythmic priming can enhance speech perception, the aim of this experiment was to investigate whether this extends to speech production. Method: The authors measured the influence of rhythmic priming on phonological production abilities in 14 hearing impaired children with hearing devices. Children had to repeat sentences that were or were not preceded by a rhythmical prime. In addition, this rhythmic prime either matched or mismatched the meter (i.e., stress contrasts) of the sentence. Results: Matching conditions resulted in a greater phonological accuracy of spoken sentences compared to baseline and mismatching conditions. Cochlear implant users were also more sensitive to rhythmic priming than hearing aid users. Conclusions: These results suggest that musical rhythmic priming can enhance phonological production in HI children via an enhanced perception of the target sentence. Overall, these findings suggest that musical rhythm engages domain-general expectations which can enhance both in perception and production of speech. 

  • Auditory Temporal Processing Skills in Musicians with Dyslexia. Paula Bishop-Liebler, Graham Welch, Martina Huss, Jennifer M. Thomson and Usha Goswami. Dislexia, vol 20, issue 3. DOI: 10.1002/dys.1479/a0036858  Link

The core cognitive difficulty in developmental dyslexia involves phonological processing, but adults and children with dyslexia also have sensory impairments. Impairments in basic auditory processing show particular links with phonological impairments, and recent studies with dyslexic children across languages reveal a relationship between auditory temporal processing and sensitivity to rhythmic timing and speech rhythm. As rhythm is explicit in music, musical training might have a beneficial effect on the auditory perception of acoustic cues to rhythm in dyslexia. Here we took advantage of the presence of musicians with and without dyslexia in musical conservatoires, comparing their auditory temporal processing abilities with those of dyslexic non-musicians matched for cognitive ability. Musicians with dyslexia showed equivalent auditory sensitivity to musicians without dyslexia and also showed equivalent rhythm perception. The data support the view that extensive rhythmic experience initiated during childhood (here in the form of music training) can affect basic auditory processing skills which are found to be deficient in individuals with dyslexia.


August 2014 - News!

Conferences, Symposiums, Workshops    view all upcoming

  • US AIRS Colleagues: Arts Research Funding Opportunity and Grant Guidelines Webinar September 3, 2014.

Helping to grow the field of arts research and provide arts practitioners with high-quality, evidence-based resources, the National Endowment for the Arts announces the latest Research: Art Works funding opportunity. LINK This program supports research for projects that investigate the value and/or impact of the arts on individuals and communities. To assist potential applicants, the NEA will hold a grant guidelines webinar on September 3, 2014 at 3:00 PM ET.

To join the September 3 NEA Research: Art Works webinar, please register in advance. LINK You may listen using your computer's speakers or dial-in to 1-877-685-5350 and use participant code: 739587. Attendees will be muted but able to type in questions and comments through a Q & A text box. An archive of the webinar will be available on the NEA's website in the webinar section shortly after the event.

The NEA anticipates awarding up to 20 grants in the range of $10,000 to $30,000. The deadline for application submission is October 21, 2014 for projects that can begin as early as May 1, 2015. Eligible organizations are U.S-based organizations that are nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3); units of state or local government; or federally recognized tribal communities or tribes. This may include, but is not limited to, colleges and universities.

  • Researchers and other interested people are invited to come to Linköping, Sweden for the First international meeting on Internet & Audiology, which will be held the 3-4 October 2014. This is not a typical conference as there will be no conference fee. Abstracts for short presentations (15 minutes) which present new and innovative research are invited; submission deadline was July 15, 2014    Website

  • The International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition (ICMPC13) was held from August 4-8, 2014 in Seoul, South Korea. Presentations by AIRS members and about singing are available here.


  • With the leadership of Lily Chen-Hafteck, Co-Leader of sub-theme 3.1, Singing and Cultural Understanding, an AIRS Symposium and an AIRS Reception took place at at the recent conference of the International Society for Music Education held in Porto Alegre, Brazil in July. Participants in the symposium were (from left to right): Elizabeth Andang'o, Zuraida Bastiao, Lily Chen-Hafteck, Arla Good, Angelita Broock, Yue Xiao, and Jiaxing Xie. Helga Gutmundsdottir, AIRS theme leader for Singing and Education, joined the team for the reception. A one-day workshop for the AIRS Quadcultural Songbook project, directed by Lily Chen-Hafteck, followed the main ISME conference. 

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