Kirk N. Olsen

Kirk N. Olsen
Macquarie University · School of Psychological Sciences

PhD, BPsych (Hons I)
Postdoctoral Researcher, Music, Sound & Performance Research Group, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia.

About

38
Publications
46,666
Reads
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387
Citations
Citations since 2016
20 Research Items
285 Citations
20162017201820192020202120220102030405060
20162017201820192020202120220102030405060
20162017201820192020202120220102030405060
20162017201820192020202120220102030405060
Introduction
Dr Kirk Olsen is a Postdoctoral Researcher at Macquarie University, Australia. Dr Olsen's research combines psychological science with music and sound to investigate the mechanisms underlying human auditory perception, cognition and emotion, with recent emphasis on the benefits of music for health and well-being across cultures and within subcultures. He is also the Research Manager of the MQ Centre for Elite Performance, Expertise, and Training (CEPET) and the Music, Sound and Performance Lab.
Additional affiliations
August 2012 - March 2016
Western Sydney University
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Education
March 2008 - March 2011
MARCS Institute, University of Western Sydney
Field of study
  • Auditory Psychophysics

Publications

Publications (38)
Article
Full-text available
Negative emotions are usually avoided in daily life, yet often appreciated in artistic endeavours. The present study investigated emotional experiences induced by Death Metal music with extremely violent themes, and examined whether enjoyment of this genre of music is associated with personality traits. Fans (N=48) and non-fans (N=97) listened to 6...
Article
Full-text available
Concerns have been raised that persistent exposure to violent media can lead to negative outcomes such as reduced empathy for the plight of others. The present study investigated whether fans of aggressive heavy or death metal music show reduced empathic reactions to aggression, relative to fans of non-aggressive music. 108 participants who self-id...
Article
Full-text available
Extreme metal and rap music with violent themes are sometimes blamed for eliciting antisocial behaviours, but growing evidence suggests that music with violent themes can have positive emotional, cognitive, and social consequences for fans. We addressed this apparent paradox by comparing how fans of violent and non-violent music respond emotionally...
Article
Full-text available
Concerns have been raised that prolonged exposure to heavy metal music with aggressive themes can increase the risk of aggression, anger, antisocial behaviour, substance use, suicidal ideation, anxiety and depression in community and psychiatric populations. Although research often relies on correlational evidence for which causal inferences are no...
Book
Why are some people tone deaf and others musical savants? What do our musical preferences say about our personality and the culture in which we were raised? Why do certain songs remind us so strongly of particular people, places, or events? How can music be therapeutically used to help those with autism, Parkinson's, and other medical conditions? T...
Article
Research suggests that engagement with music containing violent themes (e.g., extreme metal, rap) often results in positive psychosocial outcomes for fans. However, it is not clear why fans are attracted to ‘violent’ music in the first place. Experiment 1 (N = 146) examined whether trait morbid curiosity is associated with fans' self-reported consu...
Article
Full-text available
Fans of extreme metal and rap music with violent themes, hereafter termed ‘violently themed music’, predominantly experience positive emotional and psychosocial outcomes in response to this music. However, negative emotional responses to preferred music are reported to a greater extent by such fans than by fans of non-violently themed music. We inv...
Article
Full-text available
Neuroscientific research has revealed interconnected brain networks implicated in musical creativity, such as the executive control network, the default mode network, and premotor cortices. The present study employed brain stimulation to evaluate the role of the primary motor cortex (M1) in creative and technically fluent jazz piano improvisations....
Article
Full-text available
In human memory, the ability to recognize a previously encountered stimulus often undergoes cumulative interference when the number of intervening items between its first and second presentation increases. Although this is a common effect in many domains, melodies composed in tuning systems familiar to participants (e.g., Western tonal music) do no...
Article
Full-text available
In a continuous recognition paradigm, most stimuli elicit superior recognition performance when the item to be recognised is the most recent stimulus (a recency-in-memory effect). Furthermore, increasing the number of intervening items cumulatively disrupts memory in most domains. Memory for melodies composed in familiar tuning systems also shows s...
Article
Death Metal music with violent themes is characterised by vocalisations with unnaturally low fundamental frequencies and high levels of distortion and roughness. These attributes decrease the signal to noise ratio, rendering linguistic content difficult to understand and leaving the impression of growling, screaming, or other non-linguistic vocalis...
Article
Full-text available
In many memory domains, a decrease in recognition performance between the first and second presentation of an object is observed as the number of intervening items increases. However, this effect is not universal. Within the auditory domain, this form of interference has been demonstrated in word and single-note recognition, but has yet to be subst...
Article
Full-text available
Music is a cultural universal, yet the individual experience of music can strongly differ between listeners. Here, we investigate the similarity of listeners' response patterns in the context of memory for melody and argue that memory can serve as a proxy to perception. If music perception is similar across listeners, then this similarity should be...
Conference Paper
Musical improvisation is an ecologically valid and contextually appropriate medium to investigate the neuroscience of creativity. Previous research has identified several brain regions that are involved in musical creativity: the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), the ventral medial prefrontal cortex (vMPFC), the pre-supplementary motor area (...
Article
Continuous increases of acoustic intensity (up-ramps) can indicate a looming (approaching) sound source in the environment, whereas continuous decreases of intensity (down-ramps) can indicate a receding sound source. From psychoacoustic experiments, an ‘adaptive perceptual bias’ for up-ramp looming tonal stimuli has been proposed (Neuhoff, 1998). T...
Article
Phrasing facilitates the organization of auditory information and is central to speech and music. Not surprisingly, aspects of changing intensity, rhythm, and pitch are key determinants of musical phrases and their boundaries in instrumental note-based music. Different kinds of speech (such as tone- vs. stress-languages) share these features in dif...
Article
Time-series modeling of perceived affect in response to a range of instrumental and sound based music has shown that continuously perceived arousal, and to a lesser extent, perceived valence, are well modeled when predictors include listener engagement, perceptual loudness, and acoustic factors such as intensity and spectral flatness. A ‘FEELA’ hyp...
Article
Full-text available
Global loudness change is a post-stimulus retrospective judgement that measures listeners’ overall impressions of loudness change in response to stimuli with continuous increases (up-ramps) and decreases (down-ramps) of acoustic intensity that are otherwise acoustically identical. Past results indicate that global loudness change is significantly g...
Article
Background: Virtual humans have become part of our everyday life (movies, internet, and computer games). Even though they are becoming more and more realistic, their speech capabilities are, most of the time, limited and not coherent and/or not synchronous with the corresponding acoustic signal. Methods: We describe a method to convert a virtual...
Article
In the fields of music and emotion, investigations of causal relationships between acoustic and perceptual parameters have shed light on real-time factors that underpin affective response to music. Two experiments reported here aimed to distinguish the role of acoustic intensity and its perceptual correlate of loudness in affective responses to a d...
Article
In real-world listening domains such as speech and music, acoustic intensity and perceived loudness are dynamic and continuously changing through time. The percept of loudness change in response to continuous increases (up-ramps) and decreases (down-ramps) of intensity has received ongoing empirical and theoretical interest, the result of which has...
Chapter
The relationship between the physical and the psychological is one of the fundamental issues in psychophysics. In psychological terms, the subjective perception or experience of loudness is closely related to a sound’s physical intensity and is broadly defined as the magnitude of auditory sensation. However, as Harvey Fletcher and Wilden Munson not...
Article
A listener’s propensity to perceive affect as expressed by music can arise from factors such as acoustic features and culturally learned expectations. Studies investigating the link between musical flow and perceived affective content by means of continuous response measures and a two-dimensional circumplex framework of affect (i.e., arousal and va...
Article
Patterns of acoustic intensity profiles are investigated in recorded performances of the music of Haydn. Consistent with our earlier observations of composed, acousmatic, live-performed, and improvised electroacoustic music, and of jazz improvisations (Dean & Bailes, 2010a, b), we hypothesised that in successive pairs of intensity rises and falls,...
Article
This paper investigates psychological and psychophysiological components of arousal and emotional response to a violin chord stimulus comprised of continuous increases (up-ramp) or decreases (down-ramp) of intensity. A factorial experiment manipulated direction of intensity change (60–90 dB SPL up-ramp, 90–60 dB SPL down-ramp) and duration (1.8 s,...
Article
Overestimation of loudness change typically occurs in response to up-ramp auditory stimuli (increasing intensity) relative to down-ramps (decreasing intensity) matched on frequency, duration, and end-level. In the experiment reported, forward masking is used to investigate a sensory component of up-ramp overestimation: persistence of excitation aft...
Article
Full-text available
In two experiments, we examined the effect of intensity and intensity change on judgements of pitch differences or interval size. In Experiment 1, 39 musically untrained participants rated the size of the interval spanned by two pitches within individual gliding tones. Tones were presented at high intensity, low intensity, looming intensity (up-ram...
Article
Three experiments investigate psychological, methodological, and domain-specific characteristics of loudness change in response to sounds that continuously increase in intensity (up-ramps), relative to sounds that decrease (down-ramps). Timbre (vowel, violin), layer (monotone, chord), and duration (1.8 s, 3.6 s) were manipulated in Experiment 1. Pa...
Article
A 'perceptual bias for rising intensity' (Neuhoff 1998, Nature 395 123-124) is not dependent on the continuous change of a dynamic, looming sound source. Thirty participants were presented with pairs of 500 ms steady-state sounds corresponding to onset and offset levels of previously used dynamic increasing- and decreasing-intensity stimuli. Indepe...
Article
Two experiments examined the acquisition of word-processing skills (Experiment 1) and internet usage skills (Experiment 2) by novice adults using three types of illustration, specifically, full-screen illustra- tions with the text superimposed, icons embedded in the text, and a control, text-only condition. Training with the full-screen or embedded...
Article
Full-text available
The present experiment was aimed at characterizing the timing of conditioned nictitating membrane (NM) movements as function of the interstimulus interval (ISI) in delay conditioning for rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus). Onset latency and peak latency were approximately, but not strictly, scalar for all but the smallest movements (<.10 mm). That is,...
Conference Paper
Based on the premise that loudness change and rate of change are important in music and elicit an adaptive biological response (interpreted as an emotional reaction), two experiments investigated the effect that timbre (e.g., violin versus voice) of various layers (e.g., chord versus unison) and duration have on the overestimation of loudness chang...
Article
Extinguishing a conditioned response (CR) has entailed separating the conditioned stimulus (CS) from the unconditioned stimulus (US). This research reveals that elimination of the rabbit nictitating membrane response occurred during continuous CS-US pairings. Initial training contained a mixture of 2 CS-US interstimulus intervals (ISIs), 150 ms and...

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Projects

Projects (6)
Project
This project investigates spatial perception of apparent auditory motion in-depth by using artificial and environmental sound sources in free-field listening conditions.
Project
This project aims to investigate key factors in the link between performers’ real-time communication of affect through music and listeners’ continuous perception of affect in response to music.
Project
This project aims to investigate cognitive, sensory, and psychophysiological mechanisms that underpin perception of time-varying increases (up-ramps) and decreases (down-ramps) of acoustic intensity.