Influence of active listening on eye movements while viewing images of concert halls

Anne Minors, Carlo Harvey

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Concert hall design is at a crossroads between its origins of unamplified orchestral music and singing, and the forces of popular music, which depend mostly on amplified sound and multimedia accompaniment. Concurrently, there has been a revolution in the way that the buildings are initiated and designed. Computer modeling techniques enable architects to conceive iconic building exteriors and acoustic engineers and performance consultants to shape building interiors to provide a rich sound experience. Despite the fact that a concert is a multisensory experience, little is known about how the visual aspects of the building interiors impact the acoustical experience. This article examined how the process of active listening influences where people look within a photograph of a concert hall interior. Using eye-tracking equipment and images of concert halls while actively listening to sound tracks, the extent of the eye movement was recorded when looking only; listening only; and looking and listening. This revealed significantly smaller standard deviations of eye movement width in the horizontal plane when looking at images of concert halls while listening to music compared with looking at the images alone.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)345-354
    Number of pages10
    JournalPsychomusicology: Music, Mind, and Brain
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished (VoR) - 2015


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