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Dr Massimiliano Di Luca

Supervisor Details

M Di Luca

Contact Details

Dr Massimiliano Di Luca

Personal Website

School of Psychology, University of Birmingham

Research Interests

Dr Di Luca investigates the mechanisms of human perception using psychophysical methods and computational modelling. The goal of his research is to understand how the brain progressively builds the perception of the environment by picking up information through actions and by integrating sensations over time.

Scientific Inspiration

Leonardo Da Vinci because he combined art and scientific inquiry with an interdisciplinary approach.


Project Details

Dr Di Luca is the supervisor on the below project:

Ensemble music synchronization

Secondary Supervisor(s): Dr Mark Elliott 

University of Registration: University of Birmingham

BBSRC Research Themes: Understanding the Rules of Life (Neuroscience and Behaviour)

Apply here!

Deadline: 4 January, 2024


Project Outline

The project is linked with the EPSRC-funded http://arme-project.co.uk which aim is to create a virtual music ensemble.

In musical ensembles (such as piano duets, jazz trios, string quartets, rock groups, samba bands, and drum circles), there is no stable reference for performance timing, and musicians must time and synchronise their performance with each other. This project will expand the neuroscientific understanding of how humans synchronise with each other during ensemble music production and according to the underlying type of musical rhythm (e.g., Jacoby, McDermott, 2017). It will involve both an experimental component and a machine learning component to generate an agent-based computational synchronisation model. Taking inspiration from the discrete timing models of Wing and Kristofferson (1973) and the linear correction model of Vorberg and Schultz (2002) developed in finger-tapping performance, the student will build a synchronisation model (e.g., using continuous probability distributions and statistically optimal estimators). The student will have access to a database of hundreds of recorded performances of quartets, trios, and duets provided by a commercial partner in the project. The student will further be able to collect data by running a small number of performance recordings to tackle specific theoretical questions.

References

Wing, Alan M., and Alfred B. Kristofferson (1973). Response delays and the timing of discrete motor responses. Perception & Psychophysics 14.1 (1973): 5-12

Vorberg, D., & Schulze, H.-H. (2002). Linear phase-correction in synchronization: Predictions, parameter estimation, and simulations. Journal of Mathematical Psychology, 46(1), 56–87

Jacoby, Nori, and Josh H. McDermott (2017). Integer ratio priors on musical rhythm revealed cross-culturally by iterated reproduction. Current Biology 27.3 (2017): 359-370

Techniques

  • Experimental psychology (Behavioural testing with humans, statistical analysis of behavioural data)
  • Music analysis (Digital signal processing)
  • Computational modelling
  • Machine learning / Artificial intelligence

Previous Projects

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