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Mapping aesthetic musical emotions in the brain

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Published in Cerebral Cortex. 2012, vol. 22, no. 12, p. 2769-83
Abstract Music evokes complex emotions beyond pleasant/unpleasant or happy/sad dichotomies usually investigated in neuroscience. Here, we used functional neuroimaging with parametric analyses based on the intensity of felt emotions to explore a wider spectrum of affective responses reported during music listening. Positive emotions correlated with activation of left striatum and insula when high-arousing (Wonder, Joy) but right striatum and orbitofrontal cortex when low-arousing (Nostalgia, Tenderness). Irrespective of their positive/negative valence, high-arousal emotions (Tension, Power, and Joy) also correlated with activations in sensory and motor areas, whereas low-arousal categories (Peacefulness, Nostalgia, and Sadness) selectively engaged ventromedial prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. The right parahippocampal cortex activated in all but positive high-arousal conditions. Results also suggested some blends between activation patterns associated with different classes of emotions, particularly for feelings of Wonder or Transcendence. These data reveal a differentiated recruitment across emotions of networks involved in reward, memory, self-reflective, and sensorimotor processes, which may account for the unique richness of musical emotions.
Keywords AdultAffect/physiologyArousal/physiologyAttention/physiologyAuditory Perception/physiologyBrain/physiologyBrain MappingFemaleHumansMaleMusic/psychology
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PMID: 22178712
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Article (Published version) (3.6 MB) - public document Free access
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Research group Mécanismes cérébraux du comportement et des fonctions cognitives (701)
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TROST, Johanna Wiebke et al. Mapping aesthetic musical emotions in the brain. In: Cerebral Cortex, 2012, vol. 22, n° 12, p. 2769-83. https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:32022

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Deposited on : 2013-12-11

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