Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Does exposure matter?

Last week the University of Amsterdam issued a press release on the results of our study on musical competence and the role of exposure (to be published in an upcoming issue of JEP:HPP). I didn’t expect it to have too much impact, but it is surprising to see how many news sites simply copied the text of the original release:
"Researchers at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) have demonstrated how much the brain can learn simply through active exposure to many different kinds of music. The common view among music scientists is that musical abilities are shaped mostly by intense musical training, and that they remain rather rough in untrained listeners, the so-called Expertise hypothesis. However, the UvA-study shows that listeners without formal musical training, but with sufficient exposure to a certain musical idiom (the Exposure hypothesis), perform similarly in a musical task when compared to formally trained listeners. Furthermore, the results show that listeners generally do better in their preferred musical genre. As such the study provides evidence for the idea that some musical capabilities are acquired through mere exposure to music."
My compliments, therefore, to those journalists who actually read the publication and gave their own perspective on the results, such as Wired, WN.com and Wissenschaft Actuel, with a special mention for NRC Handelsblad :-)

No comments:

Post a Comment