Monash University

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An investigation into how audio influences perception, attention and memory and affects visual hierarchy in design

posted on 2017-05-15, 06:45 authored by Burnett, Timothy John
This exegesis will investigate the influence of audio stimuli and its relationship with visual perception, attention and hierarchical flow within visual communication - utilising a heuristic form of inquiry. New terminology of black and white thoughts will also be explored to analyse logical and lateral thinking when applied to problem solving. By utilising visual abstraction, cross-modal perception and iconic-coupling techniques I wish to explore how one can create stronger engaging experiences. This supports the research of Menon and Levitin (2005) and Ramachandran and Hirstein (1999) in the way the brain responds and rewards when resolving problems and when listening to music. By offering more rewards, we can create an environment that encourages stronger engagement. When an artificial synaesthetic experience is generated by iconic-coupling and cross -modal binding processes, a deeper correlation between auditory and visual elements may result. Integration of specific iconic-coup ling within the design process of the following two works - 'Inner sense ' and 'Elements' - creates an environment that would support active engagement with the spectator; increasing the chances of visual influence and memory retention. By utilising the powerful emotive feelings generated by music, a more personal emotivememory connection is formed when combined with vision. This artificial synaesthetic experience allows for a deeper cross-modal connection drawing from a lifetime's worth of experiences that shape our understanding and stimulate our imagination.


Campus location


Principal supervisor

Jeff Janet

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Department, School or Centre



Master of Fine Art

Degree Type



Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture

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