musical cross-modal couplings

Most humans and at least one parrot like to dance.  That involves extracting the tempo from a song and projecting that tempo onto a regular pattern of non-sound-generating movement.  That projection occurs at a low cortical level of perception-action cycles.  Projection works in the opposite direction, too.  Sid Caesar and Nanette Fabray’s Argument to Beethoven’s 5’th is not just brilliant acting; it also shows a fundamental source for musical composition.


For serious, scientific analysis of the dancing of Snowball, a sulphur-crested cockatoo, see Patel, A.D., Iversen, J.R., Bregman, M.R., Schulz, I., & Schulz, C. (2008). Investigating the human-specificity of synchronization to music.In: Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Music Perception & Cognition (ICMPC10), August 2008, Sapporo, Japan.K. Miyazaki et al. (Eds.), Adelaide: Causal Productions, pp. 100-104, and Patel, A.D., Iversen, J.R. Bregman, M.R. & Schulz, I. (in press). Studying synchronization to a musical beat in nonhuman animals. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences.

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