The visual channel has been shown to be more informative than the auditory channel in perceptual judgments of a performer's level of expression. Previous work has revealed a positive relationship between amplitude of music-related movement and ratings of expression, for example, and observers have been shown to be sensitive to kinematic features of music-related movement. In this study, we investigate relationships between the kinematics of a conductors' expressive gestures and ratings of perceived expression. Point-light representations (totalling 10 minutes) of two professional conductors were presented to participants who provided continuous ratings of perceived valence, activity, power, and overall expression using a virtual slider interface. Relationships between these ratings and 11 kinematic variables computationally extracted from the movement data were subsequently examined using linear regression. Higher levels of expressivity were found to be conveyed by gestures characterized by increased amplitude, greater variance, and higher speed of movement.
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