Processing advantages for consonance: A comparison between rats (Rattus Norvegicus) and humans (Homo Sapiens)

  • Authors
  • Crespo Bojorque, Paola; Toro Soto, Juan Manuel
  • UPF authors
  • CRESPO, PAOLA ; TORO SOTO, JUAN MANUEL;
  • Type
  • Scholarly articles
  • Journal títle
  • Journal of comparative psychology
  • Publication year
  • 2016
  • Volume
  • 130
  • Number
  • 2
  • Pages
  • 97-108
  • ISSN
  • 0735-7036
  • Publication State
  • Published
  • Abstract
  • Consonance is a salient perceptual feature in harmonic music associated with pleasantness. Besides being deeply rooted in how we experience music, research suggests consonant intervals are more easily processed than dissonant intervals. In the present work we explore from a comparative perspective if such processing advantage extends to more complex tasks such as the detection of abstract rules. We ran experiments on rule learning over consonant and dissonant intervals with nonhuman animals and human participants. Results show differences across species regarding the extent to which they benefit from differences in consonance. Animals learn abstract rules with the same ease independently of whether they are implemented over consonant intervals (Experiment 1), dissonant intervals (Experiment 2), or over a combination of them (Experiment 3). Humans, on the contrary, learn an abstract rule better when it is implemented over consonant (Experiment 4) than over dissonant intervals (Experiment 5). Moreover, their performance improves when there is a mapping between abstract categories defining a rule and consonant and dissonant intervals (Experiments 6 and 7). Results suggest that for humans, consonance might be used as a perceptual anchor for other cognitive processes as to facilitate the detection of abstract patterns. Lacking extensive experience with harmonic stimuli, nonhuman animals tested here do not seem to benefit from a processing advantage for consonant intervals.
  • Complete citation
  • Crespo Bojorque, Paola; Toro Soto, Juan Manuel. Processing advantages for consonance: A comparison between rats (Rattus Norvegicus) and humans (Homo Sapiens). Journal of comparative psychology 2016; 130(2): 97-108.
Bibliometric indicators
  • 9 times cited Scopus
  • 10 times cited WOS
  • Índex Scimago de 1.13 (2016)