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This content will become publicly available on July 26, 2022

Title: From music to animacy: Causal reasoning links animate agents with musical sounds
Listening to music activates representations of movement and social agents. Why? We ask whether high-level causal reasoning about how music was generated can lead people to link musical sounds with animate agents. To test this, we asked whether people (N=60) make flexible inferences about whether an agent caused musical sounds, integrating information from the sounds’ timing and from the visual context in which it was produced. Using a 2x2 within-subject design, we found evidence of causal reasoning: In a context where producing a musical sequence would require self-propelled movement, people inferred that an agent had been present causing the sounds. When the context provided an alternative possible explanation, this ‘explained away’ the agent, reducing the tendency to infer an agent was present for the same acoustic stimuli. People can use causal reasoning to infer whether an agent produced musical sounds, suggesting that high-level cognition can link music with social concepts.
Authors:
;
Editors:
Fitch, T.; Lamm, C.; Leder, H.; Teßmar-Raible, K.
Award ID(s):
1749551
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10281032
Journal Name:
Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society
ISSN:
1069-7977
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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