New research ideas

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Space
Posts: 177
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2006 5:54 am
Location: Cincinnati, OH

New research ideas

Postby Space » Thu Apr 25, 2013 11:32 pm

Ok, so I allowed myself to get sucked into one of those RIDICULOUS flaming, dead end, pointless arguments over the nature/nurture AP debate. Mainly because this guy is SO completely against the notion that AP can even be remotely learned and that it is completely genetic. Furthermore, he insisted that the notion that AP is purely genetic and you either 'have it' or you don't has been definitively solved by science once and for all by the UCSF study (of which I was nearly a part but I failed to get my genetic sample in on time).

Ok, so here is where this argument lead me.

I was thinking about how Chris' reviews of AP research have lead to the conclusion that adults can fairly easily become better at 'note naming' with practice but that full development of AP remains highly elusive with only anecdotal evidence that anyone has ever truly 'learned' it.

- I thought I'd like to do an aside here to remind everybody of two people who have successfully completed Prolobe: "Maestroanth" (Anthony Walter) and "JohnTra" (full name I don't know yet) -

Taking these Prolobe success cases and looking at the nature of the final level of Prolobe itself (random 5-note chords across all octaves of the piano in which each pitch of the chord is a different timbre), these guys have attained quite a high level of 'note naming' ability. Of course, I personally have attained quite a reasonable (and totally musically functional) note-naming ability myself - though I seem to be stuck on level 30 (5-note piano chords, even though I regularly, faithfully ID pitches and keys effortlessly in real music everyday).

So, taking into account that clearly these guys (as well as myself) are identifying pitches in an absolute way (at least it feels unmistakeably that way to me), could one not compose a study involving PET scans of non-AP folks who have been exposed to some amount of consistent AP eartraining and have improved note-naming skill.

This would be similar to the Zatorre study, only what we would be looking for is whether these non-AP 'note-namers' are using the same basic neural pathways that showed up with Zatorre's 'true' AP-ers.

In other words, when non-AP people do AP eartraining and improve their note-naming abilities, would we see this reflected by a brain activity that exactly mimics the brain activity of natural born AP'ers while IDing pitches?

Does this sound like a useful thing to study? I do. I feel like it may not be earth-shattering, but it could be a kind of stepping stone to further understanding of the subject.

Rob

Space
Posts: 177
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2006 5:54 am
Location: Cincinnati, OH

Postby Space » Fri Apr 26, 2013 12:00 am

I should add that part of this comes out of one of my little 'shoulder chips' which is that people consistently seem to deny that a non-AP person who has learned to identify pitches (AKA: note-naming) actually has anything like 'true' AP.

It would be nice then, to see whether this note-naming follows the same neural pathways as those with 'true' AP (whatever that is).

This is the thing: People seem to get into this issue of thinking that developing AP effortlessly in childhood is part of AP itself so that if one has to work at developing AP, then they don't have 'real' AP. I contend that those who develop AP effortlessly in childhood are simply genetically gifted with a propensity for AP development.

This is the same as one who has a natural predisposition for building muscle. Just because one person can jump on a simple weight lifting program and build muscle quickly, seemingly effortlessly, does not mean that *I* can't also get on a weight training program and build muscle as well. Sure, it may take longer and may be a more arduous process for me because I am not genetically predisposed for "optimum" muscle building, but my nervous and skeletal-muscle system is none-the-less endowed by nature with the potential for muscle building as an adaptive process. It's just a matter of finding the most optimum ways to stimulate that process.

I feel sometimes that Chris is trying to say that developing 'true' AP would entail some method that magically switches on chroma perception to the degree that one can then magically develop AP effortlessly the way a 'natural' does in childhood. I don't know if I believe this is possible and I wonder whether children who develop AP even do this. My guess is that development of AP in children is a largely unconscious process and they don't 'use' pitch chroma to get it. They've developed it before they even know what it is or how they do it.

My experience has been the same. Even though I've spent hours meditatively trying to listen for some elusive thing called pitch-chroma, it often seems like I don't really 'get' what the particular chroma of a pitch is until I can already identify it and already have it internalized to some degree. Then suddenly, it's very easy to say "Yeah, G is 'scratchy' and 'rugged', etc.". But prior to that, it's actually quite difficult to use this perception of chroma to ID pitches if I don't ALREADY know what they are.

I'm trying to show a but of a parallel here with Chris' bit in his most recent research about experimenting with melody triggers where he states "But whenever the melody association falters, I can listen to a note repeatedly and be utterly unable to answer, my mind a blank. Without a melody, I haven't the slightest clue, because there are no other clues."

Still, Maestroanth claims to have used melody triggers (in contrast, JohnTra says he did not use melody triggers) to progress on Prolobe, and that over time, the melodies become less necessary and he was left with simply being able to ID the pitches directly. Also, I believe Maestro's AP is functional (useful in 'real' music) whereas JohnTra claims that his is not.

Ok, that's all I've got to say for now!

Rob

aruffo
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Postby aruffo » Fri Apr 26, 2013 6:51 am

Prolobe keeps statistics, doesn't it? ...although I suppose they're not publicly displayed...

Space
Posts: 177
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2006 5:54 am
Location: Cincinnati, OH

Postby Space » Fri Apr 26, 2013 2:24 pm

Most of the statistics are publicly displayed. I believe you might be able to make your statistics private. Mine are public (I go by 'Space'). Of course I haven't really used Prolobe for most of my eartraining. It's more something I've used to gauge my progress overall. Still, there was one point years ago where I was doing several sessions there a day and you can see the time and number of sessions it took to pass various levels.


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