BRAIN AND MUSIC STEFAN KOELSCH PDF

Making and listening to music engages a large array of psychological processes, including perception, attention, learning and memory, syntactic processing, the processing of meaning, and social cognition. This richness makes music the ideal tool to investigate human psychology and the workings of the human brain, and in recent years neuroscientists have increasingly used this tool to inform and extend their ideas. This book offers a comprehensive survey of the current state of knowledge in the cross-disciplinary field of music psychology. An expert in his field, Stefan Koelsch establishes basic neuroscientific, music-theoretical, and music-psychological concepts, before presenting the brain correlates of music perception, musical syntax, musical semantics, music and action, and music and emotion. Koelsch synthesizes all these conceptual threads into a new theory of music psychology.

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Key Points The superficial amygdala is involved in the processing of basic socio-affective information, including music. Music-evoked pleasure is associated with activity of the dopaminergic mesolimbic reward pathway in particular the right nucleus accumbens and the left dorsal striatum and with activity of the ventromedial orbitofrontal cortex, pre-genual anterior cingulate cortex, amygdala, anterior insula and mediodorsal thalamus.

Thus, music-evoked pleasure is associated with the activation of a phylogenetically old reward network that functions to ensure the survival of the individual and the species. Owing to its high structural and functional centrality, the amygdala is in a key position to modulate and regulate emotion networks with regard to initiating, maintaining and terminating emotions. The concept of musical tension relates to emotions arising from processing intra-musical structure, including emotions associated with the build-up, fulfilment and violation of predictions.

Progressing tones and harmonies create an entropic flux that gives rise to a constantly changing un certainty of predictions and thus to musical tension. Music triggers engagement in social functions, hence musical activity is directly related to the fulfilment of basic human needs, such as communication, cooperation and social attachment.

Supporting social functions was probably an important adaptive function of music in the evolution of humans. The auditory cortex has emotion-specific functional connections with a broad range of limbic, paralimbic and neocortical structures.

Thus, the role of the auditory cortex in emotion is more extensive than previously believed. Music influences, and interacts with, the processing of visual information whether visual information is real or imagined. Emotion-specific functional connections between auditory and visual cortices are part of an affective—attentional network that might have a role in visual alertness, visual imagery and an involuntary shift of attention.

Abstract Music is a universal feature of human societies, partly owing to its power to evoke strong emotions and influence moods. During the past decade, the investigation of the neural correlates of music-evoked emotions has been invaluable for the understanding of human emotion. Functional neuroimaging studies on music and emotion show that music can modulate activity in brain structures that are known to be crucially involved in emotion, such as the amygdala, nucleus accumbens, hypothalamus, hippocampus, insula, cingulate cortex and orbitofrontal cortex.

The potential of music to modulate activity in these structures has important implications for the use of music in the treatment of psychiatric and neurological disorders.

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Brain correlates of music-evoked emotions

Key Points The superficial amygdala is involved in the processing of basic socio-affective information, including music. Music-evoked pleasure is associated with activity of the dopaminergic mesolimbic reward pathway in particular the right nucleus accumbens and the left dorsal striatum and with activity of the ventromedial orbitofrontal cortex, pre-genual anterior cingulate cortex, amygdala, anterior insula and mediodorsal thalamus. Thus, music-evoked pleasure is associated with the activation of a phylogenetically old reward network that functions to ensure the survival of the individual and the species. Owing to its high structural and functional centrality, the amygdala is in a key position to modulate and regulate emotion networks with regard to initiating, maintaining and terminating emotions. The concept of musical tension relates to emotions arising from processing intra-musical structure, including emotions associated with the build-up, fulfilment and violation of predictions. Progressing tones and harmonies create an entropic flux that gives rise to a constantly changing un certainty of predictions and thus to musical tension. Music triggers engagement in social functions, hence musical activity is directly related to the fulfilment of basic human needs, such as communication, cooperation and social attachment.

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Brain and Music

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