Petri Toiviainen

University of Jyväskylä, Finland (bio)

Kinematics of music-induced movement


Music is commonly regarded as being primarily an auditory phenomenon, and the bulk of research on music perception focuses exclusively on this sensory modality. Only recently have the multimodal aspects of music processing gained significant attention. In addition to the auditory, other sensory modalities such as visual, tactile, and proprioceptive, play a significant role in the processing of musical information. A common feature of the latter modalities is that they rely on corporeal movement. Examples of the important role of movement in music are abundant. For instance, in most cultures music is associated with dance. Furthermore, we tend to move while listening to music, in particular when the music has a clear pulse. Lastly, movement is an important ingredient in social interaction associated with music listening. Music can thus be regarded as a fundamentally spatiotemporal phenomenon. In my talk I will discuss research carried out by our research group on music-induced movement. The topics covered include the predisposition for rhythmic movement and full-body synchronization in infants and toddlers; embodiments of musical metre; effect of musical features; effect of personality; and perceived sensuality of music-induced movement.