Saturday, May 05, 2007

Another online cognition study

Those crazy folks at MIT's Music, Mind and Machine Group are conducting a study on the words people use to describe timbre. Here is their sales pitch:
Do you listen to music? Do you play music? Whatever your musical style, we would
love to hear what you have to say on the sounds of music! We are looking for
English-speaking individuals who are willing to describe sounds using everyday

Results from this study will be used to find whether people use a common
vocabulary to describe sounds, and how a person's musical background affects
his or her choice of words. Ultimately we plan to build a system to describe
sounds automatically based on their audio characteristics, and thus facilitate
their retrieval from a database, and an audio processing engine to modify
sounds using everyday words instead of non-intuitive technical parameters.

In this survey, which we have strived to make interactive and fun, you will hear
one or more sounds and will be asked to describe them by choosing words
presented to you or by using your own words. This survey will take around 10
minutes at the minimum, but if you enjoy it you can continue for longer! :-)

I took the test, and it was indeed short and easy. I went beyond the minimum by five questions, and still did it in less than 15 minutes. I'll be interested in seeing the results.

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