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The Cognitive Neuroscience of Music$
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Isabelle Peretz and Robert J. Zatorre

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780198525202

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198525202.001.0001

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Processing Emotions Induced by Music

Processing Emotions Induced by Music

(p.310) Chapter 20 Processing Emotions Induced by Music
The Cognitive Neuroscience of Music

L. J. Trainor

L. A. Schmidt

Oxford University Press

Can music induce emotions directly and, if so, are these emotions experienced similarly to emotions arising in other contexts? This chapter analyzes these questions from the perspective of neuroscience. Despite the fact that music does not appear to have an obvious survival value for modern adults, research indicates that listening to music does activate autonomic, subcortical, and cortical systems in a manner similar to other emotional stimuli. It is proposed that music may be so intimately connected with emotional systems because caregivers use music to communicate emotionally with their infants before they are able to understand language. In particular, it examines whether music engages the autonomic nervous system, sub-cortical emotion networks, and cortical areas involved in the emotional processing of other types of stimuli. It also investigates whether emotional reactions to music are simply cultural conventions by asking whether and how infants process musical emotions.

Keywords:   emotions, music, neuroscience, infants, autonomic nervous system, sub-cortical emotion networks, cortical areas, emotional processing

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