Research
The research of the Music Cognition Group (MCG) has a special focus on the temporal and melodic aspects of music using theoretical, empirical and computational methods. The current research program addresses the following research questions:
  1. What makes us musical animals? Cognition, biology and the origins of musicality (2017-...)

    Research shows that all humans have a predisposition for music, just as they do for language. All of us can perceive and enjoy music, even if we can't carry a tune and consider ourselves "unmusical." The Music Cognition Group applies interdisciplinary perspectives on the capacity to perceive, appreciate, and make music. And asks: what music is for and why every human culture has it; whether musicality is a uniquely human capacity; and what biological and cognitive mechanisms underlie it. The research program aims to identify the basic neurocognitive mechanisms that constitute musicality (and effective ways to study these in human and nonhuman animals) and to develop a method for analyzing musical phenotypes that point to the biological basis of musicality.
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  2. What is shared (and what unique) in music versus language processing? (NWO-Horizon, 2013-2017)
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  3. What are the music structural and cognitive components that contribute to the memory, recall and transmission of melodies? (NWO-CATCH and KNAW-Tunes & Tales, 2012-2016)
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  4. What are the cognitive mechanisms and neurological correlates of rhythm perception? (UvA-CSCA, 2011-2015)
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  5. What are the cognitive and biological building blocks of musicality? (KNAW-Muller chair and Distinguished Lorentz Fellowship, 2010-2014)
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Current Funding
  • NWO-Horizon Knowledge and Culture | New Methods for the Humanities: Empirical, Computational and Mathematical advances (2013-2017)
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  • NWO-CATCH COGITCH (COgnition Guided Interoperability beTween Collections of musical Heritage) (2012-2015)
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  • KNAW-Computational Humanities Tunes & Tales. Modeling Oral Transmission (2012-2015)
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  • UvA-CSCA The role of neural plasticity in conscious perception (2011-2015)
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  • NIAS/Lorentz Center Distinguished Lorentz Fellowship (2013-2014)
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Past Projects
  • KNAW-Hendrik Muller chair (2010-2013)
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  • EU-COST TIMELY (Network Grant) (2010-2013)
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  • NWO-GW Music matters: On music and the cognitive sciences (2008-2009)
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  • EU FP6-IST Emergent cognition through active perception (EmCAP), a three-year research project in the field of music cognition (2005-2008)
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  • NWO-STW Practice Space: exploration and training of music performance skills (realized at RU, 2005-2009)
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  • NWO-GW Foundations of the Humanities: a cognitive revolution in musicology (2005-2007)
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  • EU FP5-IHP MOSART: European network on music technology (2001-2003)
  • NWO-GW/MAGW Music Mind Machine (MMM) PIONIER project (1997-2003)
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  • NWO-STW Quantization of temporal patterns by neural networks (1997-2001)
  • NWO-SION Disclosure of large musical databases using a metric for temporal patterns (1997-1998)
  • KNAW A formalism for knowledge representation in music (1992-1997)
Projects under review | in preparation
  • NWO/FWO-FGw Music cognition in action: towards a new theoretical foundation (under review)
  • EU-FP7 MoMENT (Modelling Musicality for and through Embodiment, Neuroscience, and Therapy) (in preparation)



www.mcg.uva.nl