What the [bleep]? Enhanced absolute pitch memory for a 1000 Hz sine tone

Van Hedger, S. C., Heald, S. L., & Nusbaum, H. C. (2016). What the [bleep]? Enhanced absolute pitch memory for a 1000Hz sine tone. Cognition, 154, 139-150.

Abstract: Many individuals are able to perceive when the tuning of familiar stimuli, such as popular music recordings, has been altered. This suggests a kind of ubiquitous pitch memory, though it is unclear how this ability differs across individuals with and without absolute pitch (AP) and whether it plays any role in AP. In the present study, we take advantage of a salient single frequency – the 1000 Hz sine tone used to censor taboo words in broadcast media – to assess the nature of this kind of pitch memory across individuals with and without AP. We show that non-AP participants are accurate at selecting the correct version of the censor tone among incorrect versions shifted by either one or two semitones, though their accuracy was still below that of an AP population (Experiment 1). This suggests a benefit for AP listeners that could be due to the use of explicit note categories or greater amounts of musical training. However, AP possessors still outperformed all non-AP participants when incorrect versions of the censor tone were shifted within a note category, even when controlling for musical experience (Experiment 2). Experiment 3 demonstrated that AP listeners did not appear to possess a category label for the censor tone that could have helped them differentiate the censor tones used in Experiment 2. Overall, these results suggest that AP possessors may have better pitch memory, even when divorced from pitch labeling (note categories). As such, these results have implications for how AP may develop and be maintained.

Read the article: Van Hedger, S. C., Heald, S. L., & Nusbaum, H. C. (2016). What the [bleep]? Enhanced absolute pitch memory for a 1000Hz sine tone. Cognition, 154, 139-150.



(Something interesting I found)Posted:Aug 01 2016, 12:00 AM by jlmatelski
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