Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Cognitive Science and Human Factors (PhD)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences

Advisor 1

Myounghoon Jeon

Advisor 2

Shane Mueller

Committee Member 1

Scott Kuhl

Committee Member 2

Stephen Barrass


The Immersive Interactive SOnification Platform, or iISoP for short, is a research platform for the creation of novel multimedia art, as well as exploratory research in the fields of sonification, affective computing, and gesture-based user interfaces. The goal of the iISoP’s dancer sonification system is to “sonify the motion and emotion” of a dance performance via musical auditory display. An additional goal of this dissertation is to develop and evaluate musical strategies for adding layer of emotional mappings to data sonification. The result of the series of dancer sonification design exercises led to the development of a novel musical sonification framework. The overall design process is divided into three main iterative phases: requirement gathering, prototype generation, and system evaluation. For the first phase help was provided from dancers and musicians in a participatory design fashion as domain experts in the field of non-verbal affective communication. Knowledge extraction procedures took the form of semi-structured interviews, stimuli feature evaluation, workshops, and think aloud protocols. For phase two, the expert dancers and musicians helped create test-able stimuli for prototype evaluation. In phase three, system evaluation, experts (dancers, musicians, etc.) and novice participants were recruited to provide subjective feedback from the perspectives of both performer and audience. Based on the results of the iterative design process, a novel sonification framework that translates motion and emotion data into descriptive music is proposed and described.