General Subjects Display Cross-Modal Responses to Musical Stimuli

Proceedings of the European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music (ESCOM)
We investigated the perception of music in a cognitive musicology study, employing behavioral methods to examine general associative patterns--i.e. the propensity for subjects to recruit associations when listening to music, reminiscent of synaesthetic cross-wiring (Cytowic, 2009). Although non-Synaesthetic associations to music are less explored, experiments such as Köhler’s (1929) linguistic “Kiki, Boulba” study, demonstrated associations in non-synaesthetes, supporting the hypothesis that general listeners engage cross-sensorial connections. Furthermore, FMRI studies reveal interconnectivity between auditory and cross-modal brain pathways in response to sound in non-synaesthetes. Our research seeks to demonstrate that these findings transfer to a behavioral level in general listeners.