1 Jan 2023Last modified 2 Oct 2023

Explorative design and evaluation of memory-based listening games

This project is part of a series of pilot studies that will contribute to an interdisciplinary research agenda on musicality (Honing, 2018). The main aim is to develop engaging listening games that allow for, in potential, the hundreds of thousands of responses that are needed to be able to properly characterize musicality phenotypes, and their variability, in a variety of geographical regions with ready access to the internet.

  • Status: on hold
  • Starting date: Fall 2023
  • Outcome: masters thesis

The main task is to explore and evaluate several memory game designs for probing music cognition, games that could be effective in probing the underlying phenotype (e.g, relative pitch, contour perception), its variability, as well as being intrinsically motivating (Burgoyne et al., 2013; Honing, 2021). An example is Memory or the Matching Pairs game. For this, several variants could be explored and evaluated, as well as applying the proper statistical methods to analyse the results. This project requires a creative student with an idiosyncratic mind. The project will lead either to a literature thesis or a Master thesis.


  • BSc in Computational musicology, Brain and Cognitive Sciences (and Society) and/or Psychometrics;
  • Familiar with R, Python or related software;
  • Creative mind;
  • Interest in music cognition.


prof. dr H. Honing


Burgoyne, J. A., Bountouridis, D., Balen, J. van, & Honing, H. (2013). Hooked: A Game For Discovering What Makes Music Catchy. In A. De Souza Britto, F. Gouyon, & S. Dixon (Eds.), ISMIR (pp. 245–250). Curitiba, Brazil.

Eerola, T., Armitage, J., Lavan, N., & Knight, S. (2021). Online Data Collection in Auditory Perception and Cognition Research: Recruitment, Testing, Data Quality and Ethical Considerations. Auditory Perception & Cognition, 1–30. doi: 10.1080/25742442.2021.2007718

Harrison, P. M. C., Collins, T., & Müllensiefen, D. (2017). Applying modern psychometric techniques to melodic discrimination testing: Item response theory, computerised adaptive testing, and automatic item generation. Scientific Reports, 7(1), 1–18.

Honing, H. (2018). The Origins of Musicality. Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press.

Honing, H. (2021). Lured into listening: Engaging games as an alternative to reward-based crowdsourcing in music research. Zeitschrift für Psychologie, 229(4). doi: 10.1027/2151-2604/a000474 [PsyArXiv]

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