Measuring the Influences of Musical Parameters on Cognitive and Behavioral Responses to Audio Notifications Using EEG and Large-scale Online Studies

Fu-Yin Cherng, Wen-Chieh Lin, Jung-Tai King, Yi-Chen Lee.

ACM CHI 2019



Prior studies have evaluated various designs for audio notifications. However, calls for more in-depth research on how such notifications work, especially at the level of users’ cognitive states, have gone unanswered; and studies evaluating audio notifications with large numbers of participants in multiple environments have been rare. This study conducted an electroencephalography study (N=20) and an online study (N=967) to enhance understandings of how three musical parameters – melody (simple, complex), pitch (high, low), and tempo (fast, slow) – influenced users’ cognition and behaviors. There are eight different notifications with different combinations of these parameters. The online study analyzed the effects of user-specific and environmental information on users’ behaviors while they listened to these notifications.The results revealed that tempo and pitch have the main effect on the speed and strength (accuracy) of users’ cognition and behaviors. The users’ characteristics and environments influenced the effects of these musical parameters.