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Alliage Project

University of Geneva

1 or 2 semesters

Music coordination in musical ensembles (e.g., quartet, orchestra), when successful, can give rise to a profoundly engaging emotional experience. In this project, the overarching objective is to study the behavioral and neural processes underlying the interpersonal processes

Project description

Music coordination in musical ensembles (e.g., quartet, orchestra), when successful, can give rise to a profoundly engaging emotional experience. In this project, the overarching objective is to study the behavioral and neural processes underlying the interpersonal processes that make music performance and listening such a unique experience. Recently, we have developed a successful approach, established by information-based theories for characterizing the types of interaction within musical ensembles starting from the analysis of body movement. However, a clarified understanding of the neural systems involved in these collaborative and expressive processes has not been achieved yet. Our project aims at investigating the neural dynamics reinforcing the human processing of non-verbal expressive behavior using musical context as test-bed. Specifically, this study will utilize multimodal setups including motion capture system, audio and video to record musical performances. We will consider live performance in both naturalistic and in virtual immersive environments.

The project is also open to recently graduated undergraduate students and to graduate students.

Number of places available: 3 per semester.

Pre requisites

  • We are seeking a highly motivated and talented student to work on a project on social interaction and empathy in music ensemble (e.g., string quartet, orchestra) or/and in virtual immersive environment (e.g., with virtual audience of avatars).
  • Candidates should have a background in engineering, computer science, psychology, biology, neuroscience or a related field.
  • According to their speciality, they should be familiar with fMRI (on 3T scanner) and have experience in brain image analysis (SPM), or they may have excellent programming skills (e.g. Matlab, python) to develop novel automatic analysis of body movement and expressivity.

Faculty Department

Faculty of Psychology, NeuroScience of Emotions and Affective Dynamics Lab.

The Lab provides an excellent multidisciplinary and interactive neuroimaging environment with research dedicated brain imaging facilities and a state-of-the art immersive virtual reality system.

Read more about the Brain and Behaviour Laboratory on this website.

Read more about the HEM (Haute école de musique) on this website.

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