Music cognition, including encoding melodies into memory, tracking motion in tonal space, and the origins of emotional responses to music.
Dr. Jay Dowling is a leading researcher in music and cognition, with a focus on memory for melodies and how music is represented in the mind and brain. His recent research explored early encoding of novel melodies into memory and the tracking of modulations from key to key in Western and Indian music. Dr. Dowling’s previous research studied of how melodic contours and musical scales are combined to form melodies as well as the discovery that people with five years of music lessons in their youth encode melodies automatically as do-re-mi scale steps. Dr. Dowling is a distinguished lecturer in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, associate editor of Music Perception and Psychomusicology: Music, Mind & Brain, and is a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America. Dr. Dowling received his bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University and his master’s and doctoral degrees from Harvard University.
Dowling, W. J. (2010). Oxford Handbook of Auditory Science: Hearing, Music perception. In C. Plack (Ed.), Oxford University Press, pp. 231-248.
Recent Articles in Peer-Refereed Journals
Tillmann, B., Dowling, W. J., Lalitte, P., Molin, P., Schulze, K., Poulin-Charronnat, B., Schoen, D., and Bigand, E. (2013). Influence of expressive versus mechanical musical performance on short-term memory for musical excerpts. Music Perception, 30, 419-425.
Schulze, K., Dowling, W. J., & Tillmann, B. (2011). Working memory for tonal and atonal sequences during a forward and a backward recognition task. Music Perception, 29, 255-268.