The project aims to upgrade the fourMs Lab at the University of Oslo with new technologies for studying human motion and physiology. The systems to be purchased will make it possible to capture data with much higher accuracy and precision than earlier. It will also be possible to combine motion capture with eye-tracking and measurements of breathing, heart rate and muscle tension.
The fourMs Lab (Music, Mind, Motion, Machines) is a world-class infrastructure for studies of human movement and physiology in an immersive multimedia environment. It is primarily used to study music-related body movement, music performance, and music psychology. It has also increasingly been used for linguistics, dance, sports, and well-being in recent years. The lab is central to the activities of the RITMO Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Rhythm, Time and Motion, which has been a Norwegian Centre of Excellence since 2017.
Funding is sought for upgrading the primary motion capture system of the lab. The original motion capture system from Qualisys was purchased in 2009, and the more than 10-year old equipment is in dire need of replacement. Newer motion capture systems have much better spatial and temporal resolution than the current setup, allowing for higher accuracy and precision recording. We have recently also experienced several failures and errors related to the age of electronics in the old system. This has caused downtime in the lab when different system parts have had to be sent for repair. There is a need to upgrade the primary hardware.
Over the years, we have seen a growing interest in combining motion capture with other types of measurements, including physiological sensing (muscle tension, respiration, heart rate) and eye-tracking. We, therefore, also apply for purchasing some add-on systems, which would allow for more complex data collection. Finally, we will need to integrate the new and old systems to synchronize the collected data properly.
All in all, these upgrades and new investments are necessary for the fourMs Lab to continue to be a state-of-the-art research facility for the years to come. If funded, it will further strengthen the University of Oslo as a world-leading institution for empirical music research, and open for even more interdisciplinary and international collaboration.