Global Arts and Psychology Seminar (GAPS)

When:28 Apr 2017, 5pm - 9:30pm
29 Apr 2017, 9am - 1:30pm
Venue:John Niland Scientia Building
Who:School of the Arts & Media

GAPS is about the arts and the people who create and appreciate them, from a scientific psychological perspective. “The arts” include auditory arts (music, sound design), visual arts (painting, architecture), literature, drama, film, opera and the digital arts. This particular event will focus on music.

GAPS applies three intertwined visions about conferencing in the 21st century:

  1. To be environmentally responsible; 
  2. To be socially inclusive; and 
  3. To share knowledge with high academic quality.

The inaugural GAPS event will present current research by top postgraduate students at five hubs on four continents: Australia, Europe, North America and South America. UNSW Sydney will be acting as the Australian hub.

The program at each hub will be divided into two half-days (morning and evening), during which participants will communicate in real time with 1-2 other hubs, depending on time differences. Various communication technologies will be used. All talks will be live-streamed and recorded on YouTube. Both live streams and videos will be unlisted: they will be available to registered participants only, in a password-protected teaching platform (Moodle).

Download a DRAFT program (PDF) [141 Kb]

All discussions will be documented as comment feeds. During global discussions, session chairs will select questions from the real-time comment feed and pose them to presenters. Remote questioners will witness the question and answer on the live stream. Each hub has an affiliation, a senior organiser, and a time zone as follows:

Department of Music, Concordia University, Montréal, Québec (Eldad Tsabary, UTC - 4 hours)
Department of Music, Sheffield University, UK (Renee Timmers, UTC + 1 hour)
Centre for Systematic Musicology, University of Graz, Austria (Richard Parncutt, UTC + 2 hours)
School of the Arts and Media, UNSW Sydney, Australia (Emery Schubert, UTC + 10 hours)
Laboratorio para el Estudio de la Experiencia Musical, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Argentina (Isabel Martinez, GMT - 3 hours)
Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University, Boston, USA (Parkes Wilde, UTC - 4 hours)

Sydney Keynote Speaker

The Sad Music Paradox: Adaptive Functions and Maladaptive Processes

Sad music has been valued by human societies throughout history and today. The experiences that listeners report when listening to sad music tend to defy traditional models of emotion, since such experiences can be both pleasant and can involve high arousal levels. This talk will cover research that demonstrates the adaptive functions that listening to sad music can serve and how those processes break down in cases of depression. A model of the impact of sad music on mood will be presented.

Sandra Garrido is an NHMRC-ARC Dementia Research Development Fellow at the MARCS Institute for Brain, Behaviour and Development at the Western Sydney University. With a background in both music and psychology, her research interests are on the influence of music on mental health both historically and in the modern day, with a particular focus on depression and dementia. Sandra is also a violinist and pianist and has published over 40 peer reviewed papers and book chapters including a text co-authored with Prof. Jane Davidson entitled My Life As A Playlist (2014), and a monograph entitled Why Are We Attracted to Sad Music? (2017).


Can I attend both days of the seminar?
Each day will have unique speakers covering a range of topics, and will have refreshments provided. You are encouraged to attend both days, however please note that this will require a SEPARATE REGISTRATION (TICKET) FOR EACH DAY.

Who will be presenting?
A number of top young researchers in music psychology and related fields have been selected to present.

How can I contact the organiser with any questions?
Please feel free to contact us with any questions:


GAPS 2017 is supported by the UNSW Grand Challenge on Climate Change.

Find out more here.

Finding us
The John Niland Scientia Building is located at the top of the UNSW main walkway. Map Reference G19.

More information on getting to UNSW.
Download a campus map. (PDF)

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