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A blog on music cognition research

Henkjan Honing
130 posts

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  • March 5, 2016
  • 11:15 AM
  • 214 views

Een aap met maatgevoel? [Dutch]

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

Hieronder een videoimpressie van de Diesrede uitgesproken tijdens de 384ste Dies Natalis van de Universiteit van Amsterdam met de titel ‘Een aap met maatgevoel’. In die lezing beschrijf ik wat muzikaliteit is of kan zijn, maar ook in hoeverre we muzikaliteit delen met andere dieren, om er zo achter te komen of muzikaliteit een biologische basis heeft. Lang niet alle wetenschappers zijn het daar over eens.... Read more »

  • February 21, 2016
  • 12:34 PM
  • 211 views

Does musicality have a biological foundation?

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

A few days ago a study was published by the team of Irma Järvelä (University of Helsinki) on the identification of genetic variants underlying musical ability. They based their new study (Liu et al., 2016) on an existing database of ca. 150 unrelated Finnish subjects that were tested for their musical ability using a collection of pitch and pattern perception tests. In addition, for all participants genomic DNA was available (based on a blood sample). The participants were divided into........ Read more »

Liu, X., Kanduri, C., Oikkonen, J., Karma, K., Raijas, P., Ukkola-Vuoti, L., Teo, Y., & Järvelä, I. (2016) Detecting signatures of positive selection associated with musical aptitude in the human genome. Scientific Reports, 21198. DOI: 10.1038/srep21198  

Gingras, B., Honing, H., Peretz, I., Trainor, L., & Fisher, S. (2015) Defining the biological bases of individual differences in musicality. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 370(1664), 20140092-20140092. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2014.0092  

  • February 6, 2016
  • 09:52 AM
  • 287 views

Do songbirds perceive melody different from humans?

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

Last week a fascinating study appeared in PNAS on melody cognition in sparrows (Sturnus vulgaris). It provides an alternative interpretation to the widespread believe that songbirds have a strong bias to rely on absolute pitch (AP) for the recognition of melodies (e.g. Hulse et al., 1992).... Read more »

Hulse, S., Takeuchi, A., & Braaten, R. (1992) Perceptual Invariances in the Comparative Psychology of Music. Music Perception: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 10(2), 151-184. DOI: 10.2307/40285605  

Bregman, M., Patel, A., & Gentner, T. (2016) Songbirds use spectral shape, not pitch, for sound pattern recognition. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201515380. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1515380113  

  • February 5, 2016
  • 12:34 PM
  • 313 views

Abnormalities in later cognitive stages of beat processing?

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

Beat deafness, a recently documented form of congenital amusia, provides a unique window into functional specialization of neural circuitry for the processing of musical stimuli: Beat-deaf individuals exhibit deficits that are specific to the detection of a regular beat in music and the ability to move along with a beat.... Read more »

Phillips-Silver, J., Toiviainen, P., Gosselin, N., Piché, O., Nozaradan, S., Palmer, C., & Peretz, I. (2011) Born to dance but beat deaf: A new form of congenital amusia. Neuropsychologia. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2011.02.002  

  • September 11, 2015
  • 12:34 PM
  • 372 views

Perfect Pitch: Is this for real?

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

Absolute Pitch (AP) or Perfect Pitch, as some prefer to call it, is common throughout the animal world, and dogs are no exception (Levitin & Rogers, 2005).*... Read more »

Levitin, D., & Rogers, S. (2005) Absolute pitch: perception, coding, and controversies. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 9(1), 26-33. DOI: 10.1016/j.tics.2004.11.007  

  • May 20, 2015
  • 05:35 AM
  • 626 views

Further support for the Gradual Audiomotor Evolution (GAE) hypothesis?

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

Four chimpanzees born at the Primate Reserach Institute, Kyoto University recently participated in a finger-tapping experiment much like those that have been done for decades with humans (Repp, 2005). Two of them, Chloe and Cleo, showed signs of synchronization, according to a study that just came out in Scientific Reports.... Read more »

Merchant, H., & Honing, H. (2013) Are non-human primates capable of rhythmic entrainment? Evidence for the gradual audiomotor evolution hypothesis. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 7(274). info:/

  • February 6, 2015
  • 08:34 AM
  • 718 views

Why do we have music? Can one trace the origins of musicality?

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

Why do we have music? And what enables us to perceive, appreciate and make music? The search for a possible answer to these and other questions forms the backdrop to a soon-to-be released theme issue of Philosophical Transactions, which deals with the subject of musicality. An initiative of Henkjan Honing, professor of Music Cognition at the University of Amsterdam (UvA), this theme issue will see Honing and fellow researchers present their most important empirical results and offer a joint rese........ Read more »

Honing, H., ten Cate, C., Peretz, I., & Trehub, S. (2015) Without it no music: cognition, biology and evolution of musicality. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 370(1664), 20140088-20140088. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2014.0088  

Gingras, B., Honing, H., Peretz, I., Trainor, L., & Fisher, S. (2015) Defining the biological bases of individual differences in musicality. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 370(1664), 20140092-20140092. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2014.0092  

Fitch, W. (2015) Four principles of bio-musicology. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 370(1664), 20140091-20140091. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2014.0091  

Hoeschele, M., Merchant, H., Kikuchi, Y., Hattori, Y., & ten Cate, C. (2015) Searching for the origins of musicality across species. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 370(1664), 20140094-20140094. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2014.0094  

  • December 17, 2014
  • 11:00 AM
  • 644 views

What is the difference between the GAE and the VL hypotheisis?

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

Today a commentary was published in BBS in which the gradual audiomotor evolution (GAE) hypothesis is proposed as an alternative interpretation to the auditory timing mechanisms discussed in the BBS target article by Ackermann et al. (2014). ... Read more »

Merchant, H., & Honing, H. (2013) Are non-human primates capable of rhythmic entrainment? Evidence for the gradual audiomotor evolution hypothesis. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 7(274). info:/

  • December 11, 2014
  • 07:00 AM
  • 600 views

Without it no music?

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

A short entry to announce a theme issue on Musicality in Philosophical Transactions B, to be out in February 2015... the year when the worlds first journal dedicated to science will celebrate its 350th anniversary.... Read more »

Honing H, ten Cate C, Peretz I, & Trehub SE. (2015) Without it no music: cognition, biology and evolution of musicality. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B. info:/10.1098/rstb.2014.0088

  • December 4, 2014
  • 12:34 PM
  • 563 views

Hoe komt het dat een liedje in je hoofd blijft hangen? [Dutch]

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

De hele dag dat ene hitje in je hoofd: een oorwurm! Muziekproducenten kunnen het zich niet beter wensen. Wat maakt dat liedje nou zo makkelijk te onthouden? En hoe kan het dat je dat ene nummer zo snel herkent? Muziekwetenschapper prof. dr. Henkjan Honing (UvA) legt uit wat de ingrediënten zijn voor het maken van een ware muziekhit en waardoor luisteraars zo ‘Hooked on Music’ zijn…... Read more »

Gjerdingen, R., & Perrott, D. (2008) Scanning the Dial: The Rapid Recognition of Music Genres. Journal of New Music Research, 37(2), 93-100. DOI: 10.1080/09298210802479268  

J.A. Burgoyne, D. Bountouridis, J. van Balen, & H. Honing. (2013) Hooked: A Game for Discovering What Makes Music Catchy. Proceedings of the 14th International Society for Music Information Retrieval Conference , 245-250. info:/

Salimpoor, V., van den Bosch, I., Kovacevic, N., McIntosh, A., Dagher, A., & Zatorre, R. (2013) Interactions Between the Nucleus Accumbens and Auditory Cortices Predict Music Reward Value. Science, 340(6129), 216-219. DOI: 10.1126/science.1231059  

  • December 2, 2014
  • 12:34 PM
  • 454 views

Heb je uitzonderlijk muzikaal gehoor? (1/5) [Dutch]

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

Ben jij een beetje muzikaal? Kun jij een liedje op de perfecte toonhoogte meezingen? Hoor jij meteen of er een valse snaar op een gitaar zit? Sommigen mensen zijn volledig toondoof. Maar mensen met absoluut gehoor kunnen (zonder te kijken!) aan een pianotoets al horen welke noot het is. Een heel zeldzame gave! Maar is deze luistereigenschap wel zo bijzonder? Hoogleraar Muziekcognitie prof. dr. Henkjan Honing (UvA) legt je uit wat nog veel opmerkelijker is aan gehoor.... Read more »

Peretz, I., & Zatorre, R. (2005) Brain Organization for Music Processing. Annual Review of Psychology, 56(1), 89-114. DOI: 10.1146/annurev.psych.56.091103.070225  

Stewart L, von Kriegstein K, Warren JD, & Griffiths TD. (2006) Music and the brain: disorders of musical listening. Brain : a journal of neurology, 129(Pt 10), 2533-53. PMID: 16845129  

Takeuchi, A., & Hulse, S. (1993) Absolute pitch. Psychological Bulletin, 113(2), 345-361. DOI: 10.1037//0033-2909.113.2.345  

Schellenberg, E., & Trehub, S. (2003) Good Pitch Memory Is Widespread. Psychological Science, 14(3), 262-266. DOI: 10.1111/1467-9280.03432  

Trehub SE. (2003) The developmental origins of musicality. Nature neuroscience, 6(7), 669-73. PMID: 12830157  

  • December 2, 2014
  • 12:34 PM
  • 449 views

Word je slimmer van luisteren naar Mozart? [Dutch]

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

Het Mozarteffect. Studenten halen gegarandeerd hun tentamens, koeien zullen meer melk produceren en zelfs tomaten gaan beter smaken wanneer ze ‘luisteren’ naar klassieke muziek. Is dat zo? Waar heeft dit mee te maken? Muziekwetenschapper prof. dr. Henkjan Honing (UvA) legt je uit wat het effect is van klassieke muziek.... Read more »

Rauscher, F., Shaw, G., & Ky, C. (1993) Music and spatial task performance. Nature, 365(6447), 611-611. DOI: 10.1038/365611a0  

Thompson, W., Schellenberg, E., & Husain, G. (2001) Arousal, Mood, and The Mozart Effect. Psychological Science, 12(3), 248-251. DOI: 10.1111/1467-9280.00345  

Glenn Schellenberg, E. (2004) Music Lessons Enhance IQ. Psychological Science, 15(8), 511-514. DOI: 10.1111/j.0956-7976.2004.00711.x  

  • November 18, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 551 views

Feel like I-dosing? [Part 2]

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

"Digital drugs," otherwise known as binaural beats, have sparked an outcry in Lebanon, with the Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi calling Thursday for legal measures to be taken against the product...... Read more »

  • November 5, 2014
  • 12:34 PM
  • 664 views

What is the most instantly recognisable song?

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

Everyone knows a hook when they hear one, but scientists don’t know why. By playing the Hooked on Music game you are exploring the science of songs and helping us to unlock what makes music catchy.

Last weekend the preliminary outcome of the online game was announced in Manchester, UK at the MOSI, answering the question: What is the most instantly recognisable song? Interestingly, numerous media started to report on this. A small media hype?... Read more »

J.A. Burgoyne, D. Bountouridis, J. van Balen, & H. Honing. (2013) Hooked: A Game for Discovering What Makes Music Catchy. Proceedings of the 14th International Society for Music Information Retrieval Conference , 245-250. info:/

  • October 14, 2014
  • 09:34 AM
  • 852 views

What do we share with other primates in terms of cognition?

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

Below a beautiful summary of the recent literature on the neurobiology of action imitation/understanding, language, and rhythmic processing/auditory timing (Mendoza & Merchant, in press). The neural circuitry that is thought to be involved in all three higher cognitive functions is shown here for three closely related primates: the macaque monkey, chimpanzee and human brain.... Read more »

Merchant, H., & Honing, H. (2013) Are non-human primates capable of rhythmic entrainment? Evidence for the gradual audiomotor evolution hypothesis. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 7(274). info:/

  • July 9, 2014
  • 03:28 AM
  • 805 views

Do chimps like to listen to African and Indian music?

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

“While preferring silence to music from the West, chimpanzees apparently like to listen to the different rhythms of music from Africa and India, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association.” ... Read more »

Mingle, M., Eppley, T., Campbell, M., Hall, K., Horner, V., & de Waal, F. (2014) Chimpanzees Prefer African and Indian Music Over Silence. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Learning and Cognition. DOI: 10.1037/xan0000032  

Merchant, H., & Honing, H. (2013) Are non-human primates capable of rhythmic entrainment? Evidence for the gradual audiomotor evolution hypothesis. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 7(274). info:/

  • June 17, 2014
  • 05:43 AM
  • 817 views

Hooked on music: What makes music catchy?

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

Everyone knows a hook when they hear one, but scientist don’t know why. By playing the Hooked on Music game you are exploring the science of songs and helping us to unlock what makes music catchy.... Read more »

J.A. Burgoyne, D. Bountouridis, J. van Balen, & H. Honing. (2013) Hooked: A Game for Discovering What Makes Music Catchy. Proceedings of the 14th International Society for Music Information Retrieval Conference , 245-250. info:/

  • June 7, 2014
  • 10:22 PM
  • 782 views

How a Californian sea lion made my day

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

How a Californian sea lion made my day...... Read more »

  • April 21, 2014
  • 07:18 AM
  • 990 views

What makes music groovy?

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

Last week PLOS ONE published an interesting study on rhythm, groove and syncopation that uses an often criticized methodology: questionnaire and web-based research...... Read more »

Witek, M., Clarke, E., Wallentin, M., Kringelbach, M., & Vuust, P. (2014) Syncopation, Body-Movement and Pleasure in Groove Music. PLoS ONE, 9(4). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0094446  

Honing, H., & Reips, U.-D. (2008) Web-based versus lab-based studies: a response to Kendall (2008). Empirical Musicology Review, 3(2), 73-77. info:/

  • April 17, 2014
  • 12:34 PM
  • 641 views

What makes music groovy?

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

Today PLOS ONE publishes a study that uses an often criticized research method: questionnaire and web-based research (cf. Honing & Ladinig, 2008). This study, however, is a good example of how an unspectacular method (i.e. compared to, e.g., controlled experiments, brain imaging techniques or computational modelling) can still be quite informative....... Read more »

Witek, M., Clarke, E., Wallentin, M., Kringelbach, M., & Vuust, P. (2014) Syncopation, Body-Movement and Pleasure in Groove Music. PLoS ONE, 9(4). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0094446  

Honing, H., & Reips, U.-D. (2008) Web-based versus lab-based studies: a response to Kendall (2008). Empirical Musicology Review, 3(2), 73-77. info:/

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