Our article on the dissociable effects of practice variability on learning motor and timing skills has been published in PLoS ONE on March 2018. The article is open access and available here:
The dataset used in the article is also available online (under the Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives licence):
Abstract: Motor skill acquisition inherently depends on the way one practices the motor task. The amount of motor task variability during practice has been shown to foster transfer of the learned skill to other similar motor tasks. In addition, variability in a learning schedule, in which a task and its variations are interweaved during practice, has been shown to help the transfer of learning in motor skill acquisition. However, there is little evidence on how motor task variations and variability schedules during practice act on the acquisition of complex motor skills such as music performance, in which a performer learns both the right movements (motor skill) and the right time to perform them (timing skill). This study investigated the impact of rate (tempo) variability and the schedule of tempo change during practice on timing and motor skill acquisition. Complete novices, with no musical training, practiced a simple musical sequence on a piano keyboard at different rates. Each novice was assigned to one of four learning conditions designed to manipulate the amount of tempo variability across trials (large or small tempo set) and the schedule of tempo change (randomized or non-randomized order) during practice. At test, the novices performed the same musical sequence at a familiar tempo and at novel tempi (testing tempo transfer), as well as two novel (but related) sequences at a familiar tempo (testing spatial transfer). We found that practice conditions had little effect on learning and transfer performance of timing skill. Interestingly, practice conditions influenced motor skill learning (reduction of movement variability): lower temporal variability during practice facilitated transfer to new tempi and new sequences; non-randomized learning schedule improved transfer to new tempi and new sequences. Tempo (rate) and the sequence difficulty (spatial manipulation) affected performance variability in both timing and movement. These findings suggest that there is a dissociable effect of practice variability on learning complex skills that involve both motor and timing constraints.
We are organizing a workshop on Skill Learning and Interactive Music Technology prior to the NIME 2017 Conference (New Interfaces for Musical Expression) on May 15 in Copenhagen.
Organizers are: Baptiste Caramiaux, Marcelo Wanderley, Frédéric Bevilacqua, Ana Tajadura Jimenez, and Andrew McPherson.
Workshop website (call, program etc.): nime2017skills.netlify.com
Conference website: nime2017.org
Abstract: The fast advances of computer and sensor technologies have led researchers and artists to develop new opportunities for human expression through the design of novel digital musical instruments (DMIs) and interactive sound systems. One of the most critical challenges faced by designers, researchers and practitioners has been to account for learning expertise through their instruments or systems. It is indeed far from obvious how performers could develop expert skills in novel DMIs or how one could design DMIs that would facilitate complex motor skill learning, but also how interactive sound systems could generally benefit human learning, human development and well-being. In this workshop we aim to bring together researchers, designers, and artists in order to better understand what are the issues underlying the challenge of learning through interactive music technology. Its immediate is to identify key research questions, suitable computational tools and methods to support this research.
In January 2017, project members (B. Caramiaux, M. Wanderley & F. Bevilacqua) travelled to Vancouver for the Workshop Movement.Futures. The purpose of this workshop was to bring together researchers working on Movement and HCI (broadly speaking) as a research partnership aiming to prepare a SSHRC funding application (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Canada).
Participation of the workshop involves short presentation of current research and relevant projects such as the MIM project, and provocative pecha-kucha style presentation to discuss what could movement.futures be.
Workshop website https://movementfutures.netlify.com
(picture of one of the studio where the workshop took place)
The APCAM (Auditory Perception, Cognition, and Action Meeting) is held annually in November prior to the Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society.
“The goal of APCAM is to bring together researchers from various theoretical perspectives to present focused research on auditory cognition, perception, and aurally guided action. APCAM is a unique meeting in its exclusive focus on the perceptual, cognitive, and behavioral aspects of audition.”
During this meeting, we presented the first results on the role of variability on skill learning in music performance. The title of the presentation was Effect of variable tempo learning on skill acquisition co-authored with Marcelo M Wanderley and Caroline Palmer from McGill University.
The complete program here: http://apcam.us/
We have been invited at Simon Fraser University (SFU) in Vancouver for the May Residency (May 24-28, 2016). The residency brings together researchers and artists exploring movement analysis, dance, music technology, robotics, machine learning, and sensorimotor learning.
The May Residency is an annual meeting part of the Moving Stories project led by Thecla Schiphorst:
During the workshop, we presented an overview of the research on sensorimotor learning from the viewpoint of cognitive psychology and music psychology. Then we presented our ongoing experimental study on music skill acquisition through motor task variations.
Abstract of the talk
Motor learning has long been studied in Cognitive Psychology and Neurosciences. However, most of these studies focus on simple motion tasks, which makes unclear how their results could generalise to more complex activities including music or dance. Particularly, in music performance, motor learning has been mostly tackled by comparing expert and novice performances leaving unexplored the underlying mechanisms of motor learning. In my talk, I will start by a literature review on (sensori-)motor learning in neurosciences, experimental psychology and psychology of music. Then I will introduce a work in progress aiming to examine mechanisms of motor learning in music performance. Finally, I will discuss insights in music pedagogy and potential transfer-of-knowledge to other practices such as dance.
The CIRMMT is the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Music Media and Technology, housed at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University. This seminar was a review of past work in movement-computer interaction and how this research led to the MIM project.
Details can be found on the CIRMMT website : https://www.cirmmt.org/activities/seminars/SeminarCaramiaux.
Abstract of the talk
Technology-mediated music performance has long explored the potential of motion interfaces for enhancing musical expression. However designing expressive interactions based on these interfaces and the performer’s skills remains a difficult task because it involves complex and multifaceted motion variability.
In my talk, I will present the various facets of motion variability in music performance and propose a computational approach based on probabilistic modelling and human-centred machine learning. I will present proofs of concept developed and evaluated in the lab, as well as show real world artistic applications and implementation in consumer device product. Finally, I will introduce a more theoretical perspective explored in my current research project at McGill University, funded by the European Commission under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie actions, examining computations underlying sensorimotor learning in music performance, and its impact to enhanced motion interaction.
We participated at a piano & gesture capture workshop at the GREAM, Groupe de Recherches Expérimentales sur l’Acte Musical, at Strasbourg University.
The workshop was organised by Pavlos Antoniadis, musician and researcher, and included presentations and hands-on session by Andrew McPherson, Frédéric Bevilacqua and myself. I presented computational tools for complex data analysis.
Here is a more detailed post about the event: https://pavlosantoniadis.wordpress.com/2016/03/23/24-03-2016-workshop-mener-une-etude-experimentale-de-linteraction-homme-machine-en-musique-concepts-outils-et-equipement/
The project kicked off on January 4th 2016.