Variation in Perception of Music and Language across The World
School/Affiliation:Department of Psychology, University of Toronto Mississauga
Co-Authors:Yuto Ozaki, PhD (Faculty of Environment and Information Studies, Keio University SFC), Patrick Savage, PhD2 (Faculty of Environment and Information Studies, Keio University SFC and Waipapa Taumata Rau University of Auckland, New Zealand), Christina Vanden Bosch der Nederlanden, PhD1 (Department of Psychology, University of Toronto Mississauga)
Virtual or In-person:In-person
Music and language are two fundamental modes of human communication. Although music and language are present in all known cultures, there is significant variation in their structure and features across different cultures. This study investigated how listeners differentiate between speech and song across 17 diverse cultures worldwide, including both online and in-person participants.
Using a rating paradigm, undergraduate participants from UTM assessed the degree of speech-likeness or song-likeness in cross-cultural stimuli through a scale ranging from 1 to 5, where 1 represented speech and 5 represented song. Our findings revealed that participants had high accuracy in categorizing speech and song across cultures, indicating the presence of universal features for speech and song globally. Moreover, we observed a significant interaction between culture and modality, suggesting that the perception of speech and song may vary across different cultural contexts. Specifically, we found that performance varied across different cultures, with participants finding it harder to differentiate a few languages, Hadza, Luo, Enga, and Yoruba than other cultures. Despite these variations, participants' mean accuracy in categorization across cultures was significantly above chance, indicating their ability to successfully differentiate between speech and song stimuli, irrespective of their cultural backgrounds.
Moving forward, we will explore individual differences in language familiarity and its impact on the perception of speech and song stimuli. By examining these factors, we aim to gain a deeper understanding of how listeners perceive and differentiate speech and song across diverse cultures