Cognitive Psychology and Music

    1. Cognitive Psychology


            Figure 1. Internal representation by the brain can be quite different from the physical stimulus on the sensory modules (e.g. the retinal in the eye or the basilar membrane in the ear).   

    2. Unconscious Inference


            Figure 2. Our perceptual machinery automatically makes the inference to three-dimensional objects on the basis of perceptual cues that are present in the two-dimensional pattern on the retinal.

    3. Size and Loudness Constancy


            Figure 3. The head closest to the perceiver is the same physical size as the too big head farthest away.

    4. Spatial and Temporal Inversion



            Figure 4. After infancy, we become more tuned to seeing faces right-side up as in (a), and thus it is hard to see the "frowning" faces as being upside down in (b).

            Sound Examples: sound1    sound2    sound3    sound4    sound5    sound6

    4. Perceptual Completion




            Figure 5 (a) Continuation. We would normally assume one continuous bar beneath the disk. (b) Another possible explanation of (a). (c) Continuation with some symmetry.

            Sound Examples: sound1    sound2    sound3    sound4


       Shepard, Roger, "Cognitive Psychology and Music" in "Music, Cognition, and Computerized Sound", edited by Perry R. Cook, The MIT Press, 2001

  Kyogu Lee
  Graduate Student
  Center for Computer Music and Acoustics
  Department of Music
  Stanford University