Publications by authors named "Jess Rowland"

11 Publications

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There is music in repetition: Looped segments of speech and nonspeech induce the perception of music in a time-dependent manner.

Psychon Bull Rev 2019 Apr;26(2):583-590

Department of Psychology, New York University, 6 Washington Place, Room 275, New York, NY, 10003, USA.

While many techniques are known to music creators, the technique of repetition is one of the most commonly deployed. The mechanism by which repetition is effective as a music-making tool, however, is unknown. Building on the speech-to-song illusion (Deutsch, Henthorn, & Lapidis in Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 129(4), 2245-2252, 2011), we explore a phenomenon in which perception of musical attributes are elicited from repeated, or "looped," auditory material usually perceived as nonmusical such as speech and environmental sounds. We assessed whether this effect holds true for speech stimuli of different lengths; nonspeech sounds (water dripping); and speech signals decomposed into their rhythmic and spectral components. Participants listened to looped stimuli (from 700 to 4,000 ms) and provided continuous as well as discrete perceptual ratings. We show that the regularizing effect of repetition generalizes to nonspeech auditory material and is strongest for shorter clip lengths in the speech and environmental cases. We also find that deconstructed pitch and rhythmic speech components independently elicit a regularizing effect, though the effect across segment duration is different than that for intact speech and environmental sounds. Taken together, these experiments suggest repetition may invoke active internal mechanisms that bias perception toward musical structure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3758/s13423-018-1527-5DOI Listing
April 2019

Rapid timing of musical aesthetic judgments.

J Exp Psychol Gen 2018 Oct 16;147(10):1531-1543. Epub 2018 Jul 16.

Department of Psychology, New York University.

In recent years, psychological models of perception have undergone reevaluation due to a broadening of focus toward understanding not only how observers perceive stimuli but also how they subjectively evaluate stimuli. Here, we investigated the time course of such aesthetic evaluations using a gating paradigm. In a series of experiments, participants heard excerpts of classical, jazz, and electronica music. Excerpts were of different durations (250 ms, 500 ms, 750 ms, 1,000 ms, 2,000 ms, 10,000 ms) or note values (eighth note, quarter note, half note, dotted-half note, whole note, and entire 10,000 ms excerpt). After each excerpt, participants rated how much they liked the excerpt on a 9-point Likert scale. In Experiment 1, listeners made accurate aesthetic judgments within 750 ms for classical and jazz pieces, while electronic pieces were judged within 500 ms. When translated into note values (Experiment 2), electronica and jazz clips were judged more quickly than classical. In Experiment 3, we manipulated the familiarity of the musical excerpts. Unfamiliar clips were judged more quickly (500 ms) than familiar clips (750 ms), but there was overall higher accuracy for familiar pieces. Finally, we investigated listeners' aesthetic judgments continuously over the time course of more naturalistic (60 s) excerpts: Within 3 s, listeners' judgments differed between most- and least-liked pieces. We suggest that such rapid aesthetic judgments represent initial gut-level decisions that are made quickly, but that even these initial judgments are influenced by characteristics such as genre and familiarity. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/xge0000474DOI Listing
October 2018

Brain-to-Brain Synchrony and Learning Outcomes Vary by Student-Teacher Dynamics: Evidence from a Real-world Classroom Electroencephalography Study.

J Cogn Neurosci 2019 03 30;31(3):401-411. Epub 2018 Apr 30.

New York University.

How does the human brain support real-world learning? We used wireless electroencephalography to collect neurophysiological data from a group of 12 senior high school students and their teacher during regular biology lessons. Six scheduled classes over the course of the semester were organized such that class materials were presented using different teaching styles (videos and lectures), and students completed a multiple-choice quiz after each class to measure their retention of that lesson's content. Both students' brain-to-brain synchrony and their content retention were higher for videos than lectures across the six classes. Brain-to-brain synchrony between the teacher and students varied as a function of student engagement as well as teacher likeability: Students who reported greater social closeness to the teacher showed higher brain-to-brain synchrony with the teacher, but this was only the case for lectures-that is, when the teacher is an integral part of the content presentation. Furthermore, students' retention of the class content correlated with student-teacher closeness, but not with brain-to-brain synchrony. These findings expand on existing social neuroscience research by showing that social factors such as perceived closeness are reflected in brain-to-brain synchrony in real-world group settings and can predict cognitive outcomes such as students' academic performance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1162/jocn_a_01274DOI Listing
March 2019

Concurrent temporal channels for auditory processing: Oscillatory neural entrainment reveals segregation of function at different scales.

PLoS Biol 2017 Nov 2;15(11):e2000812. Epub 2017 Nov 2.

Max-Planck-Institute, Frankfurt, Germany.

Natural sounds convey perceptually relevant information over multiple timescales, and the necessary extraction of multi-timescale information requires the auditory system to work over distinct ranges. The simplest hypothesis suggests that temporal modulations are encoded in an equivalent manner within a reasonable intermediate range. We show that the human auditory system selectively and preferentially tracks acoustic dynamics concurrently at 2 timescales corresponding to the neurophysiological theta band (4-7 Hz) and gamma band ranges (31-45 Hz) but, contrary to expectation, not at the timescale corresponding to alpha (8-12 Hz), which has also been found to be related to auditory perception. Listeners heard synthetic acoustic stimuli with temporally modulated structures at 3 timescales (approximately 190-, approximately 100-, and approximately 30-ms modulation periods) and identified the stimuli while undergoing magnetoencephalography recording. There was strong intertrial phase coherence in the theta band for stimuli of all modulation rates and in the gamma band for stimuli with corresponding modulation rates. The alpha band did not respond in a similar manner. Classification analyses also revealed that oscillatory phase reliably tracked temporal dynamics but not equivalently across rates. Finally, mutual information analyses quantifying the relation between phase and cochlear-scaled correlations also showed preferential processing in 2 distinct regimes, with the alpha range again yielding different patterns. The results support the hypothesis that the human auditory system employs (at least) a 2-timescale processing mode, in which lower and higher perceptual sampling scales are segregated by an intermediate temporal regime in the alpha band that likely reflects different underlying computations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.2000812DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5667736PMC
November 2017

Brain-to-Brain Synchrony Tracks Real-World Dynamic Group Interactions in the Classroom.

Curr Biol 2017 May 27;27(9):1375-1380. Epub 2017 Apr 27.

Department of Psychology, New York University, 6 Washington Place, New York, NY 10003, USA; Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, Grüneburgweg 14, 60322 Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Electronic address:

The human brain has evolved for group living [1]. Yet we know so little about how it supports dynamic group interactions that the study of real-world social exchanges has been dubbed the "dark matter of social neuroscience" [2]. Recently, various studies have begun to approach this question by comparing brain responses of multiple individuals during a variety of (semi-naturalistic) tasks [3-15]. These experiments reveal how stimulus properties [13], individual differences [14], and contextual factors [15] may underpin similarities and differences in neural activity across people. However, most studies to date suffer from various limitations: they often lack direct face-to-face interaction between participants, are typically limited to dyads, do not investigate social dynamics across time, and, crucially, they rarely study social behavior under naturalistic circumstances. Here we extend such experimentation drastically, beyond dyads and beyond laboratory walls, to identify neural markers of group engagement during dynamic real-world group interactions. We used portable electroencephalogram (EEG) to simultaneously record brain activity from a class of 12 high school students over the course of a semester (11 classes) during regular classroom activities (Figures 1A-1C; Supplemental Experimental Procedures, section S1). A novel analysis technique to assess group-based neural coherence demonstrates that the extent to which brain activity is synchronized across students predicts both student class engagement and social dynamics. This suggests that brain-to-brain synchrony is a possible neural marker for dynamic social interactions, likely driven by shared attention mechanisms. This study validates a promising new method to investigate the neuroscience of group interactions in ecologically natural settings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2017.04.002DOI Listing
May 2017

Decoding time for the identification of musical key.

Atten Percept Psychophys 2015 Jan;77(1):28-35

Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions, New York University, 35 W. 4th St., Suite 1077, New York, NY, 10012, USA,

This study examines the decoding times at which the brain processes structural information in music and compares them to timescales implicated in recent work on speech. Combining an experimental paradigm based on Ghitza and Greenberg (Phonetica, 66(1-2), 113-126, 2009) for speech with the approach of Farbood et al. (Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 39(4), 911-918, 2013) for musical key-finding, listeners were asked to judge the key of short melodic sequences that were presented at a highly a compressed rate with varying durations of silence inserted in a periodic manner in the audio signal. The distorted audio signals comprised signal-silence alternations showing error rate curves that identify peak performance centered around an event rate of 5-7 Hz (143-200 ms interonset interval; 300-420 beats/min), where event rate is defined as the average rate of pitch change. The data support the hypothesis that the perceptual analysis of music entails the processes of parsing the signal into chunks of the appropriate temporal granularity and decoding the signal for recognition. The music-speech comparison points to similarities in how auditory processing builds on the specific temporal structure of the input, and how that structure interacts with the internal temporal dynamics of the neural mechanisms underpinning perception.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3758/s13414-014-0806-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4286482PMC
January 2015

Attentional modulation of fMRI responses in human V1 is consistent with distinct spatial maps for chromatically defined orientation and contrast.

J Neurosci 2011 Sep;31(36):12900-5

Department of Cognitive, Linguistic & Psychological Sciences, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island 02912, USA.

Attending to different stimulus features such as contrast or orientation can change the pattern of neural responses in human V1 measured with fMRI. We show that these pattern changes are much more distinct for colored stimuli than for achromatic stimuli. This is evidence for a classic model of V1 functional architecture in which chromatic contrast and orientation are coded in spatially distinct neural domains, while achromatic contrast and orientation are not.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0580-11.2011DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3292779PMC
September 2011

The use of developmental neurotoxicity data in pesticide risk assessments.

Neurotoxicol Teratol 2010 Sep-Oct;32(5):563-72. Epub 2010 Apr 14.

Office of Research and Development, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., Washington, DC 20460, USA.

Following the passage of the Food Quality Protection Act, which mandated an increased focus on evaluating the potential toxicity of pesticides to children, the number of guideline developmental neurotoxicity (DNT) studies (OPPTS 870.6300) submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) was greatly increased. To evaluate the impact of available DNT studies on individual chemical risk assessments, the ways in which data from these studies are being used in pesticide risk assessment were investigated. In addition, the neurobehavioral and neuropathological parameters affected at the lowest observed adverse effect level (LOAEL) for each study were evaluated to ascertain whether some types of endpoints were consistently more sensitive than others. As of December 2008, final OPP reviews of DNT studies for 72 pesticide chemicals were available; elimination of studies with major deficiencies resulted in a total of 69 that were included in this analysis. Of those studies, 15 had been used to determine the point of departure for one or more risk assessment scenarios, and an additional 13 were determined to have the potential for use as a point of departure for future risk assessments (selection is dependent upon review of the entire database available at the time of reassessment). Analysis of parameters affected at the study LOAELs indicated that no single parameter was consistently more sensitive than another. Early assessment time points (e.g., postnatal day (PND) 11/21) tended to be more sensitive than later time points (e.g., PND 60). These results demonstrate that data generated using the current guideline DNT study protocol are useful in providing points of departure for risk assessments. The results of these studies also affirm the importance of evaluating a spectrum of behavioral and neuropathological endpoints, in both young and adult animals, to improve the detection of the potential for a chemical to cause developmental neurotoxicity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ntt.2010.04.053DOI Listing
December 2010

Early suppressive mechanisms and the negative blood oxygenation level-dependent response in human visual cortex.

J Neurosci 2010 Apr;30(14):5008-19

Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute, San Francisco, California 94115, USA.

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies of early sensory cortex often measure stimulus-driven increases in the blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) signal. However, these positive responses are frequently accompanied by reductions in the BOLD signal in adjacent regions of cortex. Although this negative BOLD response (NBR) is thought to result from neuronal suppression, the precise relationship between local activity, suppression, and perception remains unknown. By measuring BOLD signals in human primary visual cortex while varying the baseline contrast levels in the region affected by the NBR, we tested three physiologically plausible computational models of neuronal modulation that could explain this phenomenon: a subtractive model, a response gain model, and a contrast gain model. We also measured the ability of isoluminant contrast to generate an NBR. We show that the NBR can be modeled as a pathway-specific contrast gain modulation that is strongest outside the fovea. We found a similar spatial bias in a psychophysical study using identical stimuli, although these data indicated a response gain rather than a contrast gain mechanism. We reconcile these findings by proposing (1) that the NBR is associated with a long-range suppressive mechanism that hyperpolarizes a subset of magnocellularly driven neurons at the input to V1, (2) that this suppression is broadly tuned to match the spatial features of the mask region, and (3) that increasing the baseline contrast in the suppressed region drives all neurons in the input layer, reducing the relative contribution of the suppressing subpopulation in the fMRI signal.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.6260-09.2010DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3523120PMC
April 2010

A retrospective analysis of toxicity studies in dogs and impact on the chronic reference dose for conventional pesticide chemicals.

Crit Rev Toxicol 2010 Jan;40(1):16-23

US Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC 20460, USA.

Prior to October 2007, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) required both 13-week and 1-year studies in Beagle dogs be submitted in support of registration for pesticides. Following an extensive retrospective analysis, we (the authors) determined that the 1-year toxicity dog study should be eliminated as a requirement for pesticide registration. The present work presents this retrospective analysis of results from 13-week and 1-year dog studies for 110 conventional pesticide chemicals, representing more than 50 classes of pesticides. The data were evaluated to determine if the 13-week dog study, in addition to the long-term studies in two rodent species (mice and rats), were sufficient for the identification of no observed adverse effect levels (NOAELs) and lowest observed adverse effect levels (LOAELs) for the derivation of chronic reference doses (RfD). Only pesticides with adequate 13-week and 1-year duration studies were included in the present evaluation. Toxicity endpoints and dose-response data from 13-week and 1-year studies were compared. The analysis showed that 70 of the 110 pesticides had similar critical effects regardless of duration and had NOAELs and LOAELs within a difference of 1.5-fold of each other. For the remaining 40 pesticides, 31 had lower NOAELs and LOAELs in the 1-year study, primarily due to dose selection and spacing. In only 2% of the cases were additional toxic effects identified in the 1-year study that were not observed in the 13-week study and/or in the rodent studies. In 8% of the cases, the 1-year dog had a lower NOAEL and/or LOAEL than the 13-week study, but there would have been no regulatory impact if the 1-year dog study had not been performed because adequate data were available from the other required studies. A dog toxicity study beyond 13-weeks does not have significant impact on the derivation of a chronic RfD for pesticide risk assessment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/10408440903401529DOI Listing
January 2010

An oculomotor decision process revealed by functional magnetic resonance imaging.

J Neurosci 2006 Dec;26(52):13515-22

The Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute, San Francisco, California 94115, USA.

It is not known how the brain decides to act on moving objects. We demonstrated previously that neurons in the macaque supplementary eye field (SEF) reflect the rule of ocular baseball, a go/nogo task in which eye movements signal the rule-guided interpretation of the trajectory of a target. In ocular baseball, subjects must decide whether to pursue a moving spot target with an eye movement after discriminating whether the target will cross a distal, visible line segment. Here we identify cortical regions active during the ocular baseball task using event-related human functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and concurrent eye-movement monitoring. Task-related activity was observed in the SEF, the frontal eye field (FEF), the superior parietal lobule (SPL), and the right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC). The SPL and right VLPFC showed heightened activity only during ocular baseball, despite identical stimuli and oculomotor demands in the control task, implicating these areas in the decision process. Furthermore, the right VLPFC but not the SPL showed the greatest activation during the nogo decision trials. This suggests both a functional dissociation between these areas and a role for the right VLPFC in rule-guided inhibition of behavior. In the SEF and FEF, activity was similar for ocular baseball and a control eye-movement task. We propose that, although the SEF reflects the ocular baseball rule, both areas in humans are functionally closer to motor processing than the SPL and the right VLPFC. By recording population activity with fMRI during the ocular baseball task, we have revealed the cortical substrate of an oculomotor decision process.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4243-06.2006DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6674715PMC
December 2006
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