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Title: Auditory, visual, linguistic, kinaesthetic and synaesthetic modes of mental imagery in children's music memory processes
Author: Pegg, Laurel
ISNI:       0000 0004 2717 1547
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2008
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This thesis aims to investigate some of the complex processes involved in eight year old children's music memory processes with reference to the audition of substantial extracts of music compositions, the modes of mental imagery evoked and their place in music memory by using a multi-method design. It aims in the first stage to discover whether random allocation from a large sample and socio-geographic cross section of children to four different condition groups (Kinaesthetic, Auditory, Visual and Linguistic) has observable effects on recognition in a music listening memory test. The literature review draws on different perspectives of memory research commencing with an overview of some earlier theories of information processing and cognitive memory research, more recent theories of imagery creation, encoding and retrieval in music listening and autobiographical memory before turning to music education research and then neuroscientific and neurobiological memory research with a specific focus on the inter relationships between the modalities and modes and on synaesthesia. The first stage of the research is an experimental design involving two replications of earlier 1991 research which elicits both categorical and aesthetic data in the form of children's drawings, writing, and movement. The first of these are analysed statistically to observe differences in recognition between the four condition groups. After the first large scale analysis, further sub-categorical analyses take place between large and small groups, schools, condition groups, gender and musical items comprising the music recognition test. No significant differences are found in memory recognition between three condition groups but when four groups are compared (kinaesthetic, visual, auditory and linguistic), there is significantly lower memory recognition for the auditory group. Following the replications, further research investigates children's preferences for condition group, the effects of different items on memory and the time span between the first and second part of the music test. Following categorisation and summary of the children's metaphors elicited during the first stage some discussion points are noted, the latter providing the impetus for, and transition to the next research stage in which the researcher engages in conversations and communications with eight children aged eight years about their external responses and metaphors (drawings, writing, movement) and inner mental imagery which have been elicited from listening to the music during the first research stage. In this way, the aesthetic data from the first stage become enmeshed in the second stage where the children interact with their own metaphors. The aims of this second stage are to discover more about the children's inner modes of imagery elicited whilst listening to music in order to make some inferences about the memory processes involved and to discover whether children are able to illuminate any of those processes themselves through metamemory. Here the researcher endeavours to implement a model for the conversations which embraces linguistic communication alongside non-linguistic through the employment of drawing, gesture, mime, humming and moving as well as speaking. The final section of the thesis comprises synthesis and evaluation. In the first, the specificity of the results from the experimental stage are considered in iterative interaction with the thematic and inferential analyses from the second stage and are illuminated by examples of the children's drawings, writing, movement and words which comprise the metaphors. Conclusions are drawn which suggest that children's gestures, writing, movement and drawing and the modes of imagery which lie behind them often contain narratives of imagery which track the music through time, that children most often employ a rich array of multi-modal imagery which in some cases may even be synaesthetic and that their images are bound up with emotions and feelings often linked to autobiographical memory. The study also shows how some children have a degree of insight into their own memory processes (metamemory). In the final two chapters, a critique of the entire process is made before describing some future potentialities for research and possible implications for teaching and learning before a final reflection from the researcher.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available