Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The Sound of Silence: Can Imagining Music Improve Spatial Rotation Performance?

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-04-12, 11:42 authored by Nick PerhamNick Perham, Alex Lewis, Joanna Turner, Helen Hodgetts

 We report two experiments exploring whether imagining music improves spatial rotation via increases in arousal and mood levels (Schellenberg 2005). To aid their imagination, participants were given instructions (none, basic or detailed) and lyrics (present or absent). Experiment 1 showed no effect of instructions or lyrics on performance although participants felt that the presence of the lyrics helped. Experiment 2 was identical to Experiment 1 except that the participants were musicians (as evidenced by musical experience and/or qualification). This time there was a significant effect of instructions in that those who received the detailed instructions performed significantly better than the no instruction condition although the presence of lyrics did not help. Further research is required to establish the similarity of the imagination to the traditional arousal and mood effect but the phenomenon may be useful for short-term boosts in spatial rotation activities. 


Published in

Current Psychology




  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)


Perham, N., Lewis, A., Turner, J., and Hodgetts, H.M. (2014) 'The Sound of Silence: Can Imagining Music Improve Spatial Rotation Performance?', Current Psychology, 33(4), pp.610-629

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Cardiff Met Affiliation

  • Cardiff School of Sport and Health Sciences

Cardiff Met Authors

Nick Perham Helen M. Hodgetts

Cardiff Met Research Centre/Group

  • Applied Psychology and Behaviour Change

Copyright Holder

  • © The Publisher


  • en

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