Framework for Reaction to Place

Music, What’s It Good For (07-19-19)

Sinclair and colleagues investigated the implications of listening to music.  They report that “Music streaming, structured by an expanding network of social interdependencies (e.g. musicians, sound engineers, computer scientists and distributors) has made it easier to consume music in a wider number of social and private spaces and to a greater degree. . . .  We argue that music is used to demarcate, transition between, and blur space.

Influences on Color Perceptions (07-16-19)

Forder and Lupyan studied perception of colors.  They report that “simply hearing color words enhances categorical color perception, improving people’s accuracy in discriminating between simultaneously presented colors in an untimed task. Immediately after hearing a color word participants were better able to distinguish between colors from the named category and colors from nearby categories. Discrimination between typical and atypical category members was also enhanced. Verbal cues slightly decreased discrimination accuracy between two typical shades of the named color. . . .

Sensory Similarity (07-15-19)

A study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society Bindicates that there are important similarities in emotional responses to a range of real world experiences.  A press release issued by Dartmouth related to the research efforts, lead by Sievers, states that “Death metal band logos often have a spiky look while romance novel titles often have a swirly script. The jaggedness or curviness of a font can be used to express an emotional tone. . . . sounds, shapes, speech and body movements convey emotional arousal the same way across the senses.

Meaningful Alarms (07-12-19)

McDougall and colleagues investigated the best sorts of sounds to use as medical alarms.  They conducted “two experiments, with nonclinical participants, alarm sets which relied on similarities to environmental sounds (concrete alarms, such as a heartbeat sound to indicate ‘check cardiovascular function’) were compared to alarms using abstract tones to represent functions on medical devices. The extent to which alarms were acoustically diverse was also examined: alarm sets were either acoustically different or acoustically similar within each set. . . .

Screen Size (07-08-19)

Dunaway and Soroka probed how the size of the screen on which news is viewed influences how it is processed mentally.  They investigated “how mobile technology constrains cognitive engagement through a lab-experimental study of individuals’ psychophysiological responses to network news on screens the size of a typical laptop computer, versus a typical smartphone. We explore heart rate variability, skin conductance levels, and the connection between skin conductance and the tone of news content.

Curves and Thoughts (07-03-19)

Schertz and colleagues studied how seeing different sorts of lines influences human thoughts. They “experimentally manipulated exposure to specific visual features. . . . Results . . . showed a potential causal effect of . . . non-straight edges on thinking about topics related to “Spiritual & Life Journey”, with . . . non-straight edges having a positive relationship. . .

Designing Artificial Forms (07-02-19)

New research sheds light on the uncanny valley phenomenon.  As a Rosenthal-von der Putten-lead team reports, “Artificial agents are becoming prevalent across human life domains. However, the neural mechanisms underlying human responses to these new, artificial social partners remain unclear. The Uncanny-Valley (UV) hypothesis predicts that humans prefer anthropomorphic agents but reject them if they become too human-like—the so-called UV reaction. Using functional MRI, we investigated neural activity when subjects evaluated artificial agents and made decisions about them. . . . .


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