深圳大学心理与社会学院, 深圳 518060
The psychological mechanism of enjoying sad music
College of Psychology and Sociology, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518060, China
收稿日期: 2017-05-23 网络出版日期: 2018-06-10
Received: 2017-05-23 Online: 2018-06-10
悲伤音乐在唤起悲伤情绪的同时也可以唤起愉悦感或带来继发的心理获益。基于此, 研究者们提出了悲伤音乐唤起愉悦感的“解离理论”和“中和理论”, 以阐述人们喜欢悲伤音乐的心理机制。然而现有理论仍不足以提供充分合理的解释, 因此从神经生物学角度探索悲伤音乐唤起愉悦感的神经机制从而揭示现有心理学理论的神经基础是未来研究的方向。
悲伤音乐在唤起悲伤情绪的同时也可以唤起愉悦感或带来继发的心理获益。基于此, 研究者们提出了悲伤音乐唤起愉悦感的“解离理论”和“中和理论”, 以阐述人们喜欢悲伤音乐的心理机制。然而现有理论仍不足以提供充分合理的解释, 因此从神经生物学角度探索悲伤音乐唤起愉悦感的神经机制从而揭示现有心理学理论的神经基础是未来研究的方向。
Previous studies have shown that sad music could evoke the aesthetic pleasure or other psychological benefits while inducing sadness. Based on these existing evidence, two major psychological theories have been proposed: one is the " dissociation theory ", the other is the" neutralization theory ". Both theories have been used to elaborate how sad music becomes pleasurable. However, neither can provide a comprehensive and reasonable explanation. Therefore, further exploration of the specific reward processing of sad music is of great significance. Future research need to clarify the neural basis of the existing psychological theories from the neurobiological perspectives.
Previous studies have shown that sad music could evoke the aesthetic pleasure or other psychological benefits while inducing sadness. Based on these existing evidence, two major psychological theories have been proposed: one is the " dissociation theory ", the other is the" neutralization theory ". Both theories have been used to elaborate how sad music becomes pleasurable. However, neither can provide a comprehensive and reasonable explanation. Therefore, further exploration of the specific reward processing of sad music is of great significance. Future research need to clarify the neural basis of the existing psychological theories from the neurobiological perspectives.
王丁, 王超, 李红.
WANG Ding, WANG Chao, LI Hong.
本文将从传统心理学的研究方法、悲伤音乐唤起的情绪, 以及人们喜欢悲伤音乐的心理学理论入手, 结合目前相关的影像学研究, 探索人们喜欢悲伤音乐的原因和心理机制。
主观评定是喜欢悲伤音乐原因研究中最主要的心理学研究方法, 问卷研究和实验研究均会使用。有研究者认为这是由音乐复杂性导致的无奈又有效的选择(Eerola & Vuoskoski, 2011)。研究者们常使用自编问卷或情绪量表, 要求被试选择问卷所列喜欢悲伤音乐的原因、评定悲伤音乐唤起的情绪、或直接列出自己喜欢悲伤音乐的原因。日内瓦音乐情绪量表(Geneva Emotional Music Scale, GEMS)是相关研究中最常使用的音乐情绪量表之一, 该量表包括惊叹(wonder)、喜悦(joyful activation)、力量感(power)、超脱(transcendence)、温情(tenderness)、怀旧(nostalgia)、平静(peacefulness)、悲伤(sadness)和紧张感(tension)共9种情绪, 其中前3种属于蓬勃(vitality)类的情绪, 之后的4种属于崇高(sublimity)类的情绪, 这7种情绪都属于审美情绪(Zentner et al., 2008)。GEMS为传统维度模型或基本情绪模型无法考察的审美情绪提供了有效的测量工具。少部分实验研究还会使用电生理或面孔分析的方法补充音乐唤起情绪的客观生理指标。
实验研究中选取音乐材料的方法有被试自选和主试选取两类。被试自选是指将被试提供的自我认定的悲伤音乐(self identified sad music)作为相应被试的实验材料。这种选取方法非常简便, 可以确保选出被试喜欢的悲伤音乐, 但无法控制实验材料在被试间的差异。主试选取主要依据客观声学特征和预实验评定的结果。由于悲伤音乐在西方音乐体系中对应小调缓慢的声学特征, 研究者往往直接选取小调缓慢音乐, 或通过音乐编辑软件, 自创小调和弦片段作为实验材料。这种选取方法具有简便、客观、易操纵的优点, 所选材料也具有稳定的跨文化一致性(Fritz et al., 2009; 白学军, 马谐, 陶云, 2016), 但无法涵盖所有的悲伤音乐。有研究显示, 大调缓慢的音乐也会被知觉为悲伤音乐(Gagnon & Peretz, 2003; 蔡岳建, 潘孝富, 庄钟春晓, 2007), 在实际生活中, 被试自我认定的悲伤音乐甚至有超过一半都是大调的(Taruffi & Koelsch, 2014)。小调音乐的喜欢程度显著低于大调音乐(Hunter, Schellenberg, & Schimmack, 2010), 因此依据客观声学特征所选的悲伤音乐的喜欢程度往往较低。依据预实验选取是指选取预实验中被评定为典型悲伤音乐的音乐片段作为正式实验材料。主试选取的方法可以对音乐情绪, 音乐喜欢程度进行有效的控制, 但所选材料的喜欢程度总体上不及被试自选。上述方法各有优劣, 通常视研究需要选用。选取实验材料时, 研究者还会对音乐类型(如古典, 流行)、熟悉度、被试自传体记忆等影响因素进行控制。由于歌词也会影响被试对音乐的加工和喜好(Brattico et al., 2011; Mori & Iwanaga, 2014), 除非要考察歌词的影响, 选取音乐材料时通常会排除有歌词的音乐材料。
Eerola, Vuoskoski和Kautiainen (2016)对悲伤音乐唤起的情绪进行了因素分析, 结果发现悲伤音乐唤起的情绪可以分为令人紧张的悲伤、令人平静的悲伤和令人感动的悲伤。令人紧张的悲伤是负性的、不愉快的, 与通常定义上的悲伤类似; 令人平静的悲伤是正性和低唤醒度的; 而令人感动的悲伤是三种情绪中唤醒度最高的, 伴随着愉悦感(Eerola et al., 2016; Eerola & Peltola, 2016; Peltola & Eerola, 2016)。这种愉悦感来源于悲伤音乐唤起的审美情绪体验及生理唤起, 包括被感动、颤栗(chill, 即起鸡皮疙瘩, 不同于害怕或厌恶时的生理唤起, 是音乐唤起强烈愉悦感的客观生理指标)和流泪(Eerola et al., 2016; Konečni, 2005; Menninghaus et al., 2015; Mori & Iwanaga, 2017; Panksepp, 1995; Trost, Ethofer, Zentner, & Vuilleumier, 2012; Wassiliwizky, Jacobsen, Heinrich, Schneiderbauer, & Menninghaus, 2017; Weth, Raab, & Carbon, 2015)。其中, 被感动程度在悲伤音乐唤起的悲伤和喜欢程度间起到了完全中介作用, 感人程度也在悲伤和美感间起到了完全中介作用(Vuoskoski & Eerola, 2017), 即被试喜欢感动他们的悲伤音乐, 并因被感动觉得悲伤音乐具有美感。因此, 悲伤音乐唤起的审美情绪和伴随的愉悦感是人们喜欢悲伤音乐的一个重要原因。
许多研究进一步细化了悲伤音乐唤起的审美情绪。Vuoskoski, Thompson, McIlwain和Eerola (2012)使用GEMS考察了主试选取的悲伤音乐所唤起的音乐情绪, 结果发现悲伤音乐在唤起悲伤情绪的同时, 显著唤起了怀旧、平静和惊叹的审美情绪。使用音乐情绪形容词表(emotion-related descriptive words and phrases)的研究则发现主试选取的悲伤音乐可以唤起崇高(heightened)类和浪漫(romantic)类的情绪(Kawakami, Furukawa, Katahira, & Okanoya, 2013)。在以上研究中, 悲伤音乐唤起的悲伤强于任意单个审美情绪, 但也有研究认为审美情绪才是悲伤音乐唤起的主要情绪。Taruffi和Koelsch (2014)直接使用GEMS (不使用音乐材料)考察被试自我认定的悲伤音乐唤起的音乐情绪, 结果显示悲伤音乐唤起怀旧、平静和温情情绪的频率高于悲伤。Weth等人(2015)也发现被试自选的悲伤音乐比主试选取的悲伤音乐唤起了更多感动和怀旧。因此, 使用主试选取悲伤音乐的研究可能低估了实际生活中悲伤音乐唤起愉悦感的能力。此外, 有研究发现悲伤音乐唤起的审美情绪还存在一定的文化差异, 例如悲伤音乐在西方被试中最常唤起的是怀旧, 其次是平静, 而在东方被试中则相反(Taruffi & Koelsch, 2014)。
在现有音乐情绪理论框架中, 悲伤音乐唤起情绪的主要机制是情绪感染(contagion)和回忆。虽然情绪感染被认为是悲伤音乐唤起负性体验的机制(Juslin & Västfjäll, 2008), 但最近有研究显示, 情绪感染和共情很可能也起到了唤起愉悦感的作用(Eerola et al., 2016)。回忆则是被试自选悲伤音乐唤起情绪的主要机制(Taruffi & Koelsch, 2014; Vuoskoski & Eerola, 2012)。有趣的是, Eerola和Peltola (2016)发现音乐旋律符合期待或超出预期与否, 并不是悲伤音乐唤起情绪体验的主要机制。虽然由个体音乐经验形成的音乐图式所产生的期待是一般意义上音乐唤起愉悦感的机制(Salimpoor, Zald, Zatorre, Dagher, & Mcintosh, 2015)。这说明喜欢悲伤音乐的机制具有特殊性。
除了审美愉悦感, 悲伤音乐还可以带来许多继发的心理获益, 这可能是悲伤音乐令人喜爱的另一个原因(van den Tol, 2016)。悲伤音乐的继发获益主要是情绪性和社会性的。悲伤音乐具有共情的作用, 可以让个体更深入的感受自己的悲伤情绪。悲伤音乐也具有社会性功能, 可以给个体带来陪伴感和安慰感, 或通过引发亲密关系主题的想象给个体带来社会联结感。悲伤音乐还具有情绪调节作用, 可以改善个体负性心境(虽然也可能恶化心境) (Chamorro-Premuzic, Fagan, & Furnham, 2010; Eerola, Peltola, & Vuoskoski, 2015; Eerola & Peltola, 2016; Lee, Andrade, & Palmer, 2013; Garrido & Schubert, 2013, 2015a; Taruffi & Koelsch, 2014; van den Tol & Edwards, 2013, 2015; van den Tol, Edwards, & Heflick, 2016)。悲伤音乐也可以作为背景音乐促进认知加工或引发个体对现实的反思(Taruffi & Koelsch, 2014; van den Tol & Edwards, 2013)。Taruffi和Koelsch (2014)使用自编问卷对悲伤音乐带来的心理获益进行了排序, 结果显示摆脱“现实生活”是悲伤音乐带来的最主要的获益, 在他们的研究中, 这种获益是指悲伤音乐唤起的悲伤不像现实生活中那样令人痛苦, 使个体得以享受这种悲伤情绪。情绪调节作用和引发想象、共情的作用分别是排名之后的继发心理获益。他们还发现悲伤音乐带来摆脱“现实生活”和共情获益的能力比快乐音乐强(Taruffi & Koelsch, 2014)。在Eerola和Peltola (2016)的研究中, 悲伤音乐最主要的继发获益是使个体得以独处, 其次是获得安慰和引发对往事的回忆。需要强调的是, 以上心理获益多是由被试自我认定的悲伤音乐带来的(van den Tol & Edwards, 2013, 2015)。
不同的个体会根据不同的情境选择悲伤音乐。有少部分的被试无论在什么情境都不喜欢悲伤音乐(Eerola et al., 2015)。总体上, 被试会在悲伤心境中, 在悲伤音乐与自传体回忆有关、歌词传达了正性信息, 或是悲伤音乐具有审美价值时听悲伤音乐(Taruffi & Koelsch, 2014; van den Tol & Edwards, 2013)。被试选择听悲伤音乐的情境具有显著的心境一致性。Taruffi和Koelsch (2014)对被试选择听悲伤音乐的情境进行了排序, 结果发现被试最常在负性心境时, 其次是在感到孤独时, 之后才是在回忆或放松时听悲伤音乐。Eerola和Peltola (2016)也发现, 被试最常在生活困境中听悲伤音乐。这可能是因为个体会在这些情境中寻求悲伤音乐带来的心理获益。而且当被试处在悲伤心境或受挫时, 他们原本对快乐音乐的偏好也会消失(Hunter, Schellenberg, & Griffith, 2011)。但Eerola等人(2016)发现, 听悲伤音乐前的负性心境与悲伤音乐唤起的令人紧张的悲伤相关, 而正性心境和令人感动的悲伤、令人平静的悲伤相关, 因此不同情境对悲伤音乐唤起的审美愉悦和心理获益可能有不同影响。心境还会和个体差异产生交互作用, 情绪稳定性低的被试在悲伤心境中更偏好悲伤音乐, 在快乐心境中则不会偏好悲伤音乐(Taruffi & Koelsch, 2014)。
不同的人格特质也会影响个体对悲伤音乐的喜欢程度。具有共情或情绪感染特质、专注特质(absorption,专注是一种类似临床解离的状态, 可以让个体从现实中部分脱离)、怀旧特质、开放性特质、内向特质或抑郁特质的被试会更喜欢悲伤音乐(Chamorro-Premuzic et al., 2010; Eerola et al., 2016; Garrido & Schubert, 2011, 2015b; Hogue, Crimmins, & Kahn, 2016; Kawakami & Katahira, 2015; Ladinig & Schellenberg, 2012; Taruffi & Koelsch, 2014; Vuoskoski et al., 2012)。其中共情特质和专注特质是目前得到最多研究和关注的人格特质。有研究者认为专注特质使个体得以从悲伤音乐唤起的负性体验中解离, 将注意力专注在音乐的美感和被唤起的悲伤情绪上, 从而获得审美愉悦感(Garrido & Schubert, 2011)。此外, 具有开放性特质的个体也具有更强的审美敏感性(Vuoskoski et al., 2012)。而内向特质和抑郁特质的个体会有更强的内省倾向, 抑郁特质的个体还会长期处于负性心境, 这些特质则与从悲伤音乐中寻求继发心理获益的倾向有关(Garrido & Schubert, 2011)。被试专业性也会影响悲伤音乐唤起的愉悦感, 专业被试被悲伤音乐唤起的审美体验更强(Eerola & Peltola, 2016)而负性体验更弱(Kawakami et al., 2013)。性别对悲伤音乐的喜好的影响存在争论, 有研究发现男性被试对悲伤音乐喜欢程度的评分高于女性被试, 可能是因为女性在听音乐时偏向情感策略, 对悲伤情绪更易感(Chamorro-Premuzic et al., 2010)。但也有研究发现女性被唤起的令人感动的悲伤强于男性, 而与负性体验有关的令人紧张的悲伤则和男性没有差异(Eerola et al., 2016)。
Schubert (1996)基于联想网络模型提出了解离理论。他认为日常生活中的悲伤通常会引发厌恶或不愉快的负性体验; 然而当个体处在(安全的)审美情境中, 负性体验会被解离。此时, 悲伤音乐唤起的悲伤就是令人愉悦的。
还有研究者从神经化学角度, 提出具有阵痛安慰作用的催乳素(prolactin)会在个体听悲伤音乐时释放, 中和负性体验, 使悲伤音乐变得令人愉悦(Huron, 2011)。但这种观点尚无研究依据支持。
中和理论还认为悲伤音乐唤起的悲伤和日常生活中的悲伤完全相同, 是负性并且令人不悦的。解离理论则认为悲伤音乐唤起的悲伤可以通过一定机制变得令人愉悦。这一分歧是音乐唤起情绪是否具有独特性争论的延伸(Scherer, 2004; Zentner et al., 2008; 马谐等, 2013)。最近也有研究者提出, 悲伤音乐可以唤起不同类型的悲伤情绪, 既包括符合传统心理学定义的悲伤, 也包括令人感动的悲伤(Eerola & Peltola, 2016)。在理论模型方面, 有研究者提出了跨艺术形式的“距离-拥抱”模型(Menninghaus et al., 2017), 从保持安全心理距离及正性情绪的中和两方面解释人们对负性艺术的喜好。
这两种理论都在一定程度上对人们喜欢悲伤音乐的心理机制做出了解释。但由于传统心理学研究方法并不能揭示喜欢悲伤音乐背后的神经生物学基础, 悲伤音乐唤起的愉悦感究竟是解离还是中和的产物, 并不能得到充分的证明。
现有研究表明, 悲伤音乐会激活大脑额叶皮层及边缘系统的脑区, 主要包括额内侧回、海马旁回和前部扣带回皮层(Bogert et al., 2016; Green et al., 2008; Khalfa, Schon, Anton, & Liegeois- Chauvel, 2005; Mitterschiffthaler, Fu, Dalton, Andrew, & Williams, 2007; Suzuki et al., 2008)。这些脑区与其他悲伤刺激激活的脑区基本一致, 也与不愉悦音乐激活的脑区类似, 因此目前的影像学研究结果倾向说明悲伤音乐是一种不愉快的负性刺激(Koelsch, 2014; Sachs et al., 2015)。这可能是由于现有研究主要使用了一般情况下被试偏好程度更高的大调快乐音乐作为小调悲伤音乐的对照刺激。此外, 海马旁回受损的患者虽然无法将不协和音乐判断为是不愉悦的, 但判断音乐悲伤与否的能力并不受损(Gosselin, 2006)。而额内侧回会在图片或音乐韵律的审美判断任务中被激活, 因此额内侧回的激活可能反映了对悲伤音乐的审美判断(Brattico & Pearce, 2013)。Green等人(2008)在对音乐偏好程度进行控制后发现, 相比大调快乐音乐, 小调悲伤音乐还是会激活海马旁回、额内侧回和腹侧前扣带回, 因此他们认为这可能仅反映了小调悲伤音乐的情绪属性而非好恶。但这些脑区是否也会被令人愉悦的悲伤音乐激活, 仍需要进一步研究验证。
音乐唤起的喜欢、愉悦感或趋近倾向, 本质上都属于音乐带给人的奖赏体验(Zatorre & Salimpoor, 2013)。伏隔核(nucleus accumbens, NAcc)是音乐奖赏的关键脑区(Blood & Zatorre, 2001; Brown, Martinez, & Parsons, 2004; Koelsch, 2014; Menon & Levitin, 2005)。NAcc属于腹侧纹状体, 是多巴胺中脑边缘通路的核心脑区之一, 它的激活会伴随唤起愉悦感的多巴胺的释放。对愉悦音乐的加工会使颞上回(听觉皮层)与NAcc出现功能连接, 激活NAcc并释放多巴胺(Martínez-Molina, Mas-Herrero, Rodríguez-Fornells, Zatorre, & Marco-Pallarés, 2016; Salimpoor, Benovoy, Larcher, Dagher, & Zatorre, 2011; Salimpoor et al., 2013)。因此, NAcc和听觉皮层的交互即是一般意义上人们喜欢音乐的神经机制(Salimpoor et al., 2015)。
目前还没有研究发现悲伤音乐可以激活NAcc或腹侧纹状体。但有研究发现, GEMS测量的音乐审美情绪会激活腹侧纹状体, 悲伤音乐主要唤起的崇高类审美情绪还会激活与奖赏及高级审美有关的内侧眶额皮层或腹内侧前额叶皮层, 因此审美情绪的唤起会伴随愉悦感(Trost et al., 2012)。共情在喜欢音乐的神经机制中也具有潜在作用。Koelsch, Fritz, Cramon, Müller和Friederici (2006)等人发现, 愉悦音乐呈现的后半段显著激活了腹侧纹状体和罗兰迪克岛盖(rolandic operculum), 他们认为罗兰迪克岛盖的激活反映了镜像神经元的功能, 说明随着愉悦音乐得到充分加工, 奖赏和共情脑区都会被激活。这些研究都为悲伤音乐激活NAcc的可能性提供了支持。最近, Brattico等人(2015)要求被试对悲伤音乐和快乐音乐进行情绪和喜欢与否的分类, 结果发现音乐情绪激活的脑区和喜欢与否激活的脑区并不相同, 因此他们认为音乐情绪和音乐奖赏的神经机制存在分离。不过目前只有少量证据显示悲伤音乐可以激活尾状核(Brattico et al., 2011, 2015)。有研究表明, 尾状核在音乐奖赏中起到的主要是预期作用, NAcc的激活才会带来直接的愉悦体验(Salimpoor et al., 2011)。因此喜欢悲伤音乐的神经机制仍需进一步探索。
虽然传统心理学研究发现悲伤音乐可以唤起审美愉悦和继发的心理获益, 悲伤音乐的影像学研究却并未发现悲伤音乐可以激活音乐奖赏的关键脑区。未来的影像学研究应筛选可以唤起愉悦感的悲伤音乐(如能唤起颤栗的悲伤音乐), 将其他不愉悦音乐作为对照, 检验NAcc的激活及其与听觉皮层的交互是否也是喜欢悲伤音乐的神经机制, 现有研究发现的悲伤音乐激活的脑区是否也会被令人愉悦的悲伤音乐激活, 从而验证音乐情绪和音乐奖赏的神经机制是否存在分离。此外, 未来的影像学研究还可以考察影响悲伤音乐喜欢程度的因素对喜欢悲伤音乐的神经机制的影响。尤其是可能直接影响喜欢悲伤音乐的人格和情境因素。由于目前解释音乐奖赏认知神经机制的理论主要基于知觉加工, 研究喜欢悲伤音乐的原因, 可以从音乐情绪和审美的角度对人们喜欢音乐的原因进行补充, 让我们更深刻的认识到作为文明成果的艺术对人类心理的价值。
未来的传统心理学研究可以参考其他悲伤艺术唤起愉悦感的研究或理论观点, 探索不同艺术类型间的交互(如电影与音乐)。未来研究还可以尝试澄清已有争论, 例如悲伤情绪对喜欢悲伤音乐究竟起到了负面还是正面的效果, 或对现有的问卷研究的结论进行实验检验。研究西方音乐体系外喜欢悲伤音乐的现象是否具有跨文化一致性也是未来可行的研究方向, 目前已经有西方研究者提出了跨文化研究的必要性(Eerola & Peltola, 2016)。
Intensely pleasurable responses to music correlate with activity in brain regions implicated in reward and emotion,
We used positron emission tomography to study neural mechanisms underlying intensely pleasant emotional responses to music. Cerebral blood flow changes were measured in response to subject-selected music that elicited the highly pleasurable experience of "shivers-down-the-spine" or "chills." Subjective reports of chills were accompanied by changes in heart rate, electromyogram, and respiration. As intensity of these chills increased, cerebral blood flow increases and decreases were observed in brain regions thought to be involved in reward/motivation, emotion, and arousal, including ventral striatum, midbrain, amygdala, orbitofrontal cortex, and ventral medial prefrontal cortex. These brain structures are known to be active in response to other euphoria-inducing stimuli, such as food, sex, and drugs of abuse. This finding links music with biologically relevant, survival-related stimuli via their common recruitment of brain circuitry involved in pleasure and reward.
Hidden sources of joy, fear, and sadness: Explicit versus implicit neural processing of musical emotions,
Music is often used to regulate emotions and mood. Typically, music conveys and induces emotions even when one does not attend to them. Studies on the neural substrates of musical emotions have, however, only examined brain activity when subjects have focused on the emotional content of the music. Here we address with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) the neural processing of happy, sad, and fearful music with a paradigm in which 56 subjects were instructed to either classify the emotions (explicit condition) or pay attention to the number of instruments playing (implicit condition) in 4-sec music clips. In the implicit vs. explicit condition, stimuli activated bilaterally the inferior parietal lobule, premotor cortex, caudate, and ventromedial frontal areas. The cortical dorsomedial prefrontal and occipital areas activated during explicit processing were those previously shown to be associated with the cognitive processing of music and emotion recognition and regulation. Moreover, happiness in music was associated with activity in the bilateral auditory cortex, left parahippocampal gyrus, and supplementary motor area, whereas the negative emotions of sadness and fear corresponded with activation of the left anterior cingulate and middle frontal gyrus and down-regulation of the orbitofrontal cortex. Our study demonstrates for the first time in healthy subjects the neural underpinnings of the implicit processing of brief musical emotions, particularly in frontoparietal, dorsolateral prefrontal, and striatal areas of the brain.
A functional MRI study of happy and sad emotions in music with and without lyrics,
Musical emotions, such as happiness and sadness, have been investigated using instrumental music devoid of linguistic content. However, pop and rock, the most common musical genres, utilize lyrics for conveying emotions. Using participants self-selected musical excerpts, we studied their behavior and brain responses to elucidate how lyrics interact with musical emotion processing, as reflected by emotion recognition and activation of limbic areas involved in affective experience. We extracted samples from subjects selections of sad and happy pieces and sorted them according to the presence of lyrics. Acoustic feature analysis showed that music with lyrics differed from music without lyrics in spectral centroid, a feature related to perceptual brightness, whereas sad music with lyrics did not diverge from happy music without lyrics, indicating the role of other factors in emotion classification. Behavioral ratings revealed that happy music without lyrics induced stronger positive emotions than happy music with lyrics. We also acquired functional magnetic resonance imaging data while subjects performed affective tasks regarding the music. First, using ecological and acoustically variable stimuli, we broadened previous findings about the brain processing of musical emotions and of songs versus instrumental music. Additionally, contrasts between sad music with versus without lyrics recruited the parahippocampal gyrus, the amygdala, the claustrum, the putamen, the precentral gyrus, the medial and inferior frontal gyri (including Broca area), and the auditory cortex, while the reverse contrast produced no activations. Happy music without lyrics activated structures of the limbic system and the right pars opercularis of the inferior frontal gyrus, whereas auditory regions alone responded to happy music with lyrics. These findings point to the role of acoustic cues for the experience of happiness in music and to the importance of lyrics for sad musical emotions.
It's sad but I like it: The neural dissociation between musical emotions and liking in experts and laypersons,
Emotion-related areas of the brain, such as the medial frontal cortices, amygdala, andstriatum, are activated during listening to sad or happy music as well as during listeningto pleasurable music. Indeed, in music, like in other arts, sad and happy emotionsmight co-exist and be distinct from emotions of pleasure or enjoyment. Here we aimedat discerning the neural correlates of sadness or happiness in music as opposedthose related to musical enjoyment. We further investigated whether musical expertisemodulates the neural activity during affective listening of music. To these aims, 13musicians and 16 non-musicians brought to the lab their most liked and disliked musicalpieces with a happy and sad connotation. Based on a listening test, we selected the mostrepresentative 18 sec excerpts of the emotions of interest for each individual participant.Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) recordings were obtained while subjectslistened to and rated the excerpts. The cortico-thalamo-striatal reward circuit and motorareas were more active during liked than disliked music, whereas only the auditory cortexand the right amygdala were more active for disliked over liked music. These resultsdiscern the brain structures responsible for the perception of sad and happy emotionsin music from those related to musical enjoyment. We also obtained novel evidence forfunctional differences in the limbic system associated with musical expertise, by showingenhanced liking-related activity in fronto-insular and cingulate areas in musicians.
The neuroaesthetics of music,
The increasingly intensive study of music by neuroscientists over the past two decades has established the neurosciences of music as a subdiscipline of cognitive neuroscience, responsible for investigating the neural basis for music perception, cognition, and emotion. In this endeavor, music perception and cognition have often been compared with language processing and understanding, while music-induced emotions are compared with emotions induced by visual stimuli. Here, we review research that is beginning to define a new field of study called neuroaesthetics of music. According to this fresh perspective, music is viewed primarily as an expressive art rather than as a cognitive domain. The goal of this emerging field is to understand the neural mechanisms and structures involved in the perceptual, affective and cognitive processes that generate the three principal aesthetic responses: emotions, judgments, and preference. Although much is known about the frontotemporal brain mechanisms underlying perceptual and cognitive musical processes, and about the limbic and paralimbic networks responsible for musical affect, there is a great deal of work to be done in understanding the neural chronometry and structures determining aesthetic responses to music. Research has only recently begun to delineate the modulatory effects of the listener, listening situation, and the properties of the music itself on a musical aesthetic experience. This article offers a review and synthesis of our current understanding of the perceptual, cognitive, and affective processes involved in an aesthetic musical experience and introduces a novel framework to coordinate future endeavors in an emerging field.
Passive music listening spontaneously engages limbic and paralimbic systems,
In this PET study, non-musicians passively listened to unfamiliar instrumental music revealed afterward to elicit strongly pleasant feelings. Activations were observed in the subcallosal cingulate gyrus, prefrontal anterior cingulate, retrosplenial cortex, hippocampus, anterior insula, and accumbens. This is the first observation of spontaneous responses in such limbic and paralimbic areas during passive listening to unfamiliar although liked music. Activations were also seen in primary auditory, secondary auditory, and temporal polar areas known to respond to music. Our findings complement neuroimaging studies of aesthetic responses to music that have used stimuli selected by subjects or designed by experimenters. The observed pattern of activity is discussed in terms of a model synthesizing emotional and cognitive responses to music.
Personality and uses of music as predictors of preferences for music consensually classified as happy, sad, complex, and social,
This study replicates the findings of a recent study (Chamorro-Premuzic, Gom脿-i-Freixanet, Furnham, & Muro, 2009) on the relationship between the Big Five personality traits and everyday uses of music or people's motives for listening to music. In addition, it examined emotional intelligence as predictor of uses of music, and whether uses of music and personality traits predicted liking of music consensually classified as sad, happy, complex, or social. A total of 100 participants rated their preferences for 20 unfamiliar musical extracts that were played for a 30-s interval on a website and completed a measure of the Big Five personality traits. Openness predicted liking for complex music, and Extraversion predicted liking for happy music. Background use of music predicted preference for social and happy music, whereas emotional music use predicted preference for sad music. Finally, males tended to like sad music and use music for cognitive purposes more than females did.
Memorable experiences with sad music—reasons, reactions and mechanisms of three types of experiences,
Abstract Reactions to memorable experiences of sad music were studied by means of a survey administered to a convenience (N = 1577), representative (N = 445), and quota sample (N = 414). The survey explored the reasons, mechanisms, and emotions of such experiences. Memorable experiences linked with sad music typically occurred in relation to extremely familiar music, caused intense and pleasurable experiences, which were accompanied by physiological reactions and positive mood changes in about a third of the participants. A consistent structure of reasons and emotions for these experiences was identified through exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses across the samples. Three types of sadness experiences were established, one that was genuinely negative (Grief-Stricken Sorrow) and two that were positive (Comforting Sorrow and Sweet Sorrow). Each type of emotion exhibited certain individual differences and had distinct profiles in terms of the underlying reasons, mechanisms, and elicited reactions. The prevalence of these broad types of emotional experiences suggested that positive experiences are the most frequent, but negative experiences were not uncommon in any of the samples. The findings have implications for measuring emotions induced by music and fiction in general, and call attention to the non-pleasurable aspects of these experiences.
Attitudes toward sad music are related to both preferential and contextual strategies,
Music-related sadness and its paradoxical pleasurable aspects have puzzled researchers for decades.Previous studies have highlighted the positive effects of listening to sad music, and the listening strategiesthat focus on mood-regulation. The present study explored people attitudes towards sad music byfocusing on a representative sample of the Finnish population. 358 participants rated their agreement with30 statements concerning attitudes towards sad music. The ratings were subjected to factor analysis,resulting in 6 factors explaining 51% of the variance (RMSEA = 0.049). The factors were labeledAVOIDANCE, AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL, REVIVAL, APPRECIATION, INTERSUBJECTIVE, andAMPLIFICATION, and they were divided into two broad headings, preferential and contextual attitudestowards sad music. Contextual attitudes seemed to be ambiguous in terms of valence, whereas thepreferential attitudes were more clearly identified in terms of positive/negative polarity. The results of thesurvey suggest that listening to sad music elicits a wide variety of responses that are not fully revealed inprevious studies.
A comparison of the discrete and dimensional models of emotion in music,
Being moved by unfamiliar sad music is associated with high empathy,
The paradox of enjoying listening to music that evokes sadness is yet to be fully understood. Unlike prior studies that have explored potential explanations related to lyrics, memories, and mood regulation, we investigated the types of emotions induced by unfamiliar, instrumental sad music, and whether these responses are consistently associated with certain individual difference variables. One hundred and two participants were drawn from a representative sample to minimize self-selection bias. The results suggest that the emotional responses induced by unfamiliar sad music could be characterized in terms of three underlying factors: Relaxing sadness, Moving sadness, and Nervous sadness. Relaxing sadness was characterized by felt and perceived peacefulness and positive valence. Moving sadness captured an intense experience that involved feelings of sadness and being moved. Nervous sadness was associated with felt anxiety, perceived scariness and negative valence. These interpretations were supported by indirect measures of felt emotion. Experiences of Moving sadness were strongly associated with high trait empathy and emotional contagion, but not with other previously suggested traits such as absorption or nostalgia-proneness. Relaxing sadness and Nervous sadness were not significantly predicted by any of the individual difference variables. The findings are interpreted within a theoretical framework of embodied emotions.
Universal recognition of three basic emotions in music,
Mode and tempo relative contributions to “happy-sad” judgements in equitone melodies,
Judgement of emotion conveyed by music is determined notably by mode (major-minor) and tempo (fast-slow). This suggestion was examined using the same set of equitone melodies, in two experiments. Melodies were presented to nonmusicians who were required to judge whether the melodies sounded “happy” or “sad” on a 10-point scale. In order to assess the specific and relative contributions of mode and tempo to these emotional judgements, the melodies were manipulated so that the only verying characteristic was either the mode or the tempo in two “isolated” conditions. In two further conditions, mode and tempo manipulations were combined so that mode and tempo either converged towards the same emotion (Convergent condition) or suggested opposite emotions (Divergent condition). The results confirm that both mode and tempo determine the “happy-sad” judgements in isolation, with the tempo being more salient, even when tempo salience was adjusted. The findings further support the view that, in music, structural features that are emotionally meaningful are easy to isolate, and that music is an effective and reliable medium to study emotions.
Individual differences in the enjoyment of negative emotion in music: A literature review and experiment,
Why do People Seek out Music that Makes Themcry? This paradox is a complex one that appears to have no single answer. Rather, numerous factors appear to be interacting in the diverse responses of individuals to music. The present study tested the hypothesis that individual differences in dissociation, absorption, fantasy proneness, empathy, and rumination would be related to the enjoyment of negative emotion in music. Fifty-nine participants completed a survey pertaining to this question. Results revealed statistically significant positive relationships between enjoyment of evoked negative emotion in response to music with both absorption and the recently reported construct of 'music empathy,' Factor analysis and a regression model confirmed these results, and the approach suggests that further study of individual differences will continue to provide new insights into some of the subtleties of the enjoyment of negative emotions in music.
Adaptive and maladaptive attraction to negative emotions in music,
Individual differences were investigated in an attempt to explain why some people are attracted to negative emotion (grief, sadness) in music. A 10-item Like Sad Music Scale (LSMS) was developed (Cronbach's = .802) and compared against subscales measuring absorption, music empathy, rumination, reflectiveness and nostalgia-proneness. This was tested via an online survey, completed by 137 participants. It was hypothesized that absorption and reflectiveness would be correlated with the enjoyment of sad music and rumination would be correlated with an attraction to sad music although not necessarily an enjoyment of it. Consistent with previous findings, absorption was a good predictor of the LSMS and was particularly correlated with the enjoyment of strong emotions in connection with sad music. Rumination correlated with LSMS items helps release sadness' and can relate to sadness' while reflectiveness correlated with the item I often find myself grieving as a result of listening to sad music'. These correlations suggest both adaptive and maladaptive uses of sad music for mood manipulation. The results were presented with respect to the dissociation theory of aesthetic enjoyment, where participants with the capacity to enter states of absorption are able to deactivate displeasure circuits and hence enjoy negative emotion in music.
a). Moody melodies: Do they cheer us up? A study of the effect of sad music on mood,
Abstract Despite the paradox inherent in the idea that sad music could make people happier, research indicates that an improved mood is amongst the primary motivations that people give for listening to sad music. However, it is not clear whether listeners are always able to achieve such aims. This article reports a study in which 335 participants listened to a piece of self-selected sad music. Before and after-measures of mood were taken, and participants also completed psychometric scales of rumination, absorption and reflectiveness. It was found that both ruminators and non-ruminators had significant increases in depression after listening to self-selected sad music. Furthermore, ruminators did not systematically report that they expected to benefit from listening to sad music, contrary to the literature. Results support the hypothesis that listening to sad music is related to maladaptive mood regulation strategies in some listeners.
b). Music and people with tendencies to depression,
Depression is often associated with a reduced motivation to engage in behavior that will improve one mood. This paper presents a study in which 175 university students listened to a self-selected piece of music on Youtube that made them sad. Post- and pre-listening scores of depressed mood on the Profile of Mood States (POMS) were taken, as were measures of rumination and scores on the Like Sad Music Scale (LSMS). Results indicate that listening to sad music via this medium can significantly increase feelings of depression in people with a tendency to depression (as suggested by high rumination scores). Furthermore, people with a tendency to depression demonstrate a liking for such music despite the potentially unhealthy consequences of listening to it.
Emotional responses to unpleasant music correlates with damage to the parahippocampal cortex,
Music is typically a pleasurable experience. But under certain circumstances, music can also be unpleasant, for example, when a young child randomly hits piano keys. Such unpleasant musical experiences have been shown to activate a network of brain structures involved in emotion, mostly located in the medial temporal lobe: the parahippocampal gyrus, amygdala, hippocampus and temporal pole. However, the differential roles of these regions remain largely unknown. In this study, pleasant and unpleasant music was presented to 17 patients with variable excisions of the medial temporal lobe, as well as to 19 matched controls. The pleasant music corresponded to happy and sad selections taken from the classical instrumental repertoire; the unpleasant music was the dissonant arrangement of the same selections. Only patients with substantial resections of the left or right parahippocampal cortex (PHC) gave highly abnormal judgements to dissonant music; they rated dissonant music as slightly pleasant while controls found it unpleasant. This indifference to dissonance was correlated with the remaining volume in the PHC, but was unrelated to the volume of the surrounding structures. The impairment was specific: the same patients judged consonant music to be pleasant, and were able to judge music as happy or sad. Furthermore, this lack of responsiveness to unpleasantness was not due to a perceptual disorder, because all patients were able to detect intentional errors in the musical excerpts. Moreover, the impairment differed from that induced by amygdala damage alone. These findings are consistent with a two-dimensional model of defensive responses to aversive stimuli, in which the PHC and the amygdala subserve different roles.
Music in minor activates limbic structures: A relationship with dissonance?,
Abstract Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we contrasted major and minor mode melodies controlled for liking to study the neural basis of musical mode perception. To examine the influence of the larger dissonance in minor melodies on neural activation differences, we further introduced a strongly dissonant stimulus, in the form of a chromatic scale. Minor mode melodies were evaluated as sadder than major melodies, and in comparison they caused increased activity in limbic structures, namely left parahippocampal gyrus, bilateral ventral anterior cingulate, and in left medial prefrontal cortex. Dissonance explained some, but not all, of the heightened activity in the limbic structures when listening to minor mode music.
"So sad and slow, so why can't I turn off the radio": The effects of gender, depression, and absorption on liking music that induces sadness and music that induces happiness,
Abstract Huron (2011) theorized that listening to music that induces sadness could lead to higher levels of prolactin, which would lead to increased liking of music that induces sadness, but this relationship would depend on individual factors of age, gender, depression, and personality. This study explored the link between these individual factors on liking music that induces sadness and music that induces happiness to determine if further testing would be viable. This study surveyed 488 college students (338 women, 146 men) and included measures of age, depression, absorption in music, and gender as predictors of liking music that induces sadness and music that induces happiness. Gender and depression predicted liking music that induces sadness, where both men’s and women’s liking increased as depression increased but did so much more for men than it did for women. Gender and absorption in music interacted to predict liking music that induces happiness. For women, there was no relation between absorption in music and liking. For men, there was a positive relation between absorption in music and liking. Age did not affect liking either types of music. These results imply that Huron’s (2011) model could depend on gender, general depression, and absorption in music.
Misery loves company: Mood-congruent emotional responding to music,
We examined emotional responding to music after mood induction. On each trial, listeners heard a 30-s music excerpt and rated how much they liked it, whether it sounded happy or sad, and how familiar it was. When the excerpts sounded unambiguously happy or sad (Experiment 1), the typical preference for happy-sounding music was eliminated after inducing a sad mood. When the excerpts sounded ambiguous with respect to happiness and sadness (Experiment 2), listeners perceived more sadness after inducing a sad mood. Sad moods had no influence on familiarity ratings (Experiments 1 and 2). These findings imply that "misery loves company." Listeners in a sad mood fail to show the typical preference for happy-sounding music, and they perceive more sadness in music that is ambiguous with respect to mood.
Feelings and perceptions of happiness and sadness induced by music: Similarities, differences, and mixed emotions,
ABSTRACT The authors examined similarities and differences between (1) listeners' perceptions of emotions conveyed by 30-s pieces of music and (2) their emotional responses to the same pieces. Using identical scales, listeners rated how happy and how sad the music made them feel, and the happiness and the sadness expressed by the music. The music was manipulated to vary in tempo (fast or slow) and mode (major or minor). Feeling and perception ratings were highly correlated but perception ratings were higher than feeling ratings, particularly for music with consistent cues to happiness (fast-major) or sadness (slow-minor), and for sad-sounding music in general. Associations between the music manipulations and listeners' feelings were mediated by their perceptions of the emotions conveyed by the music. Happiness ratings were elevated for fast-tempo and major-key stimuli, sadness ratings were elevated for slow-tempo and minor-key stimuli, and mixed emotional responses (higher happiness and sadness ratings) were elevated for music with mixed cues to happiness and sadness (fast-minor or slow-major). Listeners also exhibited ambivalence toward sad-sounding music.
Why is sad music pleasurable? A possible role for prolactin,
ABSTRACT A hedonic theory of music and sadness is proposed. Some listeners report that nominally sad music genuinely makes them feel sad. It is suggested that, for these listeners, sad affect is evoked through a combination of empathetic responses to sad acoustic features, learned associations, and cognitive rumination. Among those listeners who report sad feelings, some report an accompanying positive affect, whereas others report the experience to be solely negative. Levels of the hormone prolactin increase when sad producing a consoling psychological effect suggestive of a homeostatic function. It is proposed that variations in prolactin levels might account for the variability in individual hedonic responses. Specifically, it is conjectured that high prolactin concentrations are associated with pleasurable music-induced sadness, whereas low prolactin concentrations are associated with unpleasant music-induced sadness.
From everyday emotions to aesthetic emotions: Towards a unified theory of musical emotions,
Abstract The sound of music may arouse profound emotions in listeners. But such experiences seem to involve a 'paradox', namely that music--an abstract form of art, which appears removed from our concerns in everyday life--can arouse emotions - biologically evolved reactions related to human survival. How are these (seemingly) non-commensurable phenomena linked together? Key is to understand the processes through which sounds are imbued with meaning. It can be argued that the survival of our ancient ancestors depended on their ability to detect patterns in sounds, derive meaning from them, and adjust their behavior accordingly. Such an ecological perspective on sound and emotion forms the basis of a recent multi-level framework that aims to explain emotional responses to music in terms of a large set of psychological mechanisms. The goal of this review is to offer an updated and expanded version of the framework that can explain both 'everyday emotions' and 'aesthetic emotions'. The revised framework--referred to as BRECVEMA--includes eight mechanisms: Brain Stem Reflex, Rhythmic Entrainment, Evaluative Conditioning, Contagion, Visual Imagery, Episodic Memory, Musical Expectancy, and Aesthetic Judgment. In this review, it is argued that all of the above mechanisms may be directed at information that occurs in a 'musical event' (i.e., a specific constellation of music, listener, and context). Of particular significance is the addition of a mechanism corresponding to aesthetic judgments of the music, to better account for typical 'appreciation emotions' such as admiration and awe. Relationships between aesthetic judgments and other mechanisms are reviewed based on the revised framework. It is suggested that the framework may contribute to a long-needed reconciliation between previous approaches that have conceptualized music listeners' responses in terms of either 'everyday emotions' or 'aesthetic emotions'. 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Expression, perception, and induction of musical emotions: A review and a questionnaire study of everyday listening,
In this article, we provide an up-to-date overview of theory and research concerning expression, perception, and induction of emotion in music. We also provide a critique of this research, noting that previous studies have tended to neglect the social context of music listening. The most likely reason for this neglect, we argue, is that that most research on musical emotion has, implicitly or explicitly, taken the perspective of the musician in understanding responses to music. In contrast, we argue that a promising avenue toward a better understanding of emotional responses to music involves diary and questionnaire studies of how ordinary listeners actually use music in everyday life contexts. Accordingly, we present findings from an exploratory questionnaire study featuring 141 music listeners (between 17 and 74 years of age) that offers some novel insights. The results provide preliminary estimates of the occurrence of various emotions in listening to music, as well as clues to how music is used by listeners in a number of different emotional ways in various life contexts. These results confirm that emotion is strongly related to most people's primary motives for listening to music.
Emotional responses to music: The need to consider underlying mechanisms,
Abstract Research indicates that people value music primarily because of the emotions it evokes. Yet, the notion of musical emotions remains controversial, and researchers have so far been unable to offer a satisfactory account of such emotions. We argue that the study of musical emotions has suffered from a neglect of underlying mechanisms. Specifically, researchers have studied musical emotions without regard to how they were evoked, or have assumed that the emotions must be based on the "default" mechanism for emotion induction, a cognitive appraisal. Here, we present a novel theoretical framework featuring six additional mechanisms through which music listening may induce emotions: (1) brain stem reflexes, (2) evaluative conditioning, (3) emotional contagion, (4) visual imagery, (5) episodic memory, and (6) musical expectancy. We propose that these mechanisms differ regarding such characteristics as their information focus, ontogenetic development, key brain regions, cultural impact, induction speed, degree of volitional influence, modularity, and dependence on musical structure. By synthesizing theory and findings from different domains, we are able to provide the first set of hypotheses that can help researchers to distinguish among the mechanisms. We show that failure to control for the underlying mechanism may lead to inconsistent or non-interpretable findings. Thus, we argue that the new framework may guide future research and help to resolve previous disagreements in the field. We conclude that music evokes emotions through mechanisms that are not unique to music, and that the study of musical emotions could benefit the emotion field as a whole by providing novel paradigms for emotion induction.
Sad music induces pleasant emotion,
Abstract In general, sad music is thought to cause us to experience sadness, which is considered an unpleasant emotion. As a result, the question arises as to why we listen to sad music if it evokes sadness. One possible answer to this question is that we may actually feel positive emotions when we listen to sad music. This suggestion may appear to be counterintuitive; however, in this study, by dividing musical emotion into perceived emotion and felt emotion, we investigated this potential emotional response to music. We hypothesized that felt and perceived emotion may not actually coincide in this respect: sad music would be perceived as sad, but the experience of listening to sad music would evoke positive emotions. A total of 44 participants listened to musical excerpts and provided data on perceived and felt emotions by rating 62 descriptive words or phrases related to emotions on a scale that ranged from 0 (not at all) to 4 (very much). The results revealed that the sad music was perceived to be more tragic, whereas the actual experiences of the participants listening to the sad music induced them to feel more romantic, more blithe, and less tragic emotions than they actually perceived with respect to the same music. Thus, the participants experienced ambivalent emotions when they listened to the sad music. After considering the possible reasons that listeners were induced to experience emotional ambivalence by the sad music, we concluded that the formulation of a new model would be essential for examining the emotions induced by music and that this new model must entertain the possibility that what we experience when listening to music is vicarious emotion.
Influence of trait empathy on the emotion evoked by sad music and on the preference for it,
Some people experience pleasant emotion when listening to sad music. Therefore, they can enjoy listening to it. In the current study, we aimed to investigate such apparently paradoxical emotional mechanisms and focused on the influence of individuals trait empathy, which has been reported to associate with emotional responses to sad music and a preference for it. Eighty-four elementary school children (42 males and 42 females, mean age 11.9 years) listened to two kinds of sad music and rated their emotional state and liking toward them. In addition, trait empathy was assessed using the Interpersonal Reactivity Index scale, which comprises four sub-components: Empathic Concern, Personal Distress, Perspective Taking, and Fantasy (FS). We conducted a path analysis and tested our proposed model that hypothesized that trait empathy and its sub-components would affect the preference for sad music directly or indirectly, mediated by the emotional response to the sad music. Our findings indicated that FS, a sub-component of trait empathy, was directly associated with liking sad music. Additionally, perspective taking ability, another sub-component of trait empathy, was correlated with the emotional response to sad music. Furthermore, the experience of pleasant emotions contributed to liking sad music.
Brain regions involved in the recognition of happiness and sadness in music,
Abstract Here, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to test for the lateralization of the brain regions specifically involved in the recognition of negatively and positively valenced musical emotions. The manipulation of two major musical features (mode and tempo), resulting in the variation of emotional perception along the happiness-sadness axis, was shown to principally involve subcortical and neocortical brain structures, which are known to intervene in emotion processing in other modalities. In particular, the minor mode (sad excerpts) involved the left orbito and mid-dorsolateral frontal cortex, which does not confirm the valence lateralization model. We also show that the recognition of emotions elicited by variations of the two perceptual determinants rely on both common (BA 9) and distinct neural mechanisms.
Brain correlates of music-evoked emotions,
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.
Investigating emotion with music: An fMRI study,
Abstract The present study used pleasant and unpleasant music to evoke emotion and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to determine neural correlates of emotion processing. Unpleasant (permanently dissonant) music contrasted with pleasant (consonant) music showed activations of amygdala, hippocampus, parahippocampal gyrus, and temporal poles. These structures have previously been implicated in the emotional processing of stimuli with (negative) emotional valence; the present data show that a cerebral network comprising these structures can be activated during the perception of auditory (musical) information. Pleasant (contrasted to unpleasant) music showed activations of the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG, inferior Brodmann's area (BA) 44, BA 45, and BA 46), the anterior superior insula, the ventral striatum, Heschl's gyrus, and the Rolandic operculum. IFG activations appear to reflect processes of music-syntactic analysis and working memory operations. Activations of Rolandic opercular areas possibly reflect the activation of mirror-function mechanisms during the perception of the pleasant tunes. Rolandic operculum, anterior superior insula, and ventral striatum may form a motor-related circuitry that serves the formation of (premotor) representations for vocal sound production during the perception of pleasant auditory information. In all of the mentioned structures, except the hippocampus, activations increased over time during the presentation of the musical stimuli, indicating that the effects of emotion processing have temporal dynamics; the temporal dynamics of emotion have so far mainly been neglected in the functional imaging literature. Copyright 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
The aesthetic trinity: Awe, being moved, thrills,
Abstract Three related states - aesthetic awe, being moved or touched, and thrills or chills -are proposed as replacements for the imprecise "aesthetic emotions" and "musical emotions." Aesthetic awe is regarded as the ultimate humanistic moment, the prototypical aesthetic response to a sublime stimulus, and one that has been sexually selected. The sublime is pancultural and encompasses great beauty, rarity, and physical grandeur (for music to become sublime, it requires a "colossal" performance setting). Aesthetic awe is a primordial mixture of joy and fear, which. like joy, requires existential safety. It is virtually indistinguishable from the fundamental emotions, yet one that can be more easily "switched off," because the sublime is nonsocial and noninteractive. Aesthetic awe is always accompanied by the responses of being touched and (physiological) chills, but the latter two can also occur in awe's absence. To be moved, a personal associative context is needed; memories, love, or a victory' over mortality fears may play a part. Thrills are the most common aesthetic response, one that can occur without the others. It is argued that there has been a politically motivated campaign oPLdestructive deconstruction" of the ancient and classical sublime, resulting - in much contemporary art - in a costly clash with the authentic human responses of the aesthetic trinity. The possibilities of changing current trends and of converting the elitist guilt that often accompanies aesthetic awe into aesthetic altruism is discussed.
Liking unfamiliar music: Effects of felt emotion and individual differences,
ABSTRACT We examined liking for excerpts of unfamiliar music taken from a wide variety of genres. The excerpts varied in tempo (fast or slow) and mode (major or minor). Listeners provided liking ratings for each excerpt as well as ratings of their emotional responses (intensity, happiness, and sadness). We also measured personality and history of music lessons. In general, listeners tended to like music associated with stronger feelings and happy feelings, and to dislike music that evoked sad feelings. Mixed happy and sad feelings were evoked by music with inconsistent cues to happiness and sadness. Listeners who scored high on Agreeableness had more intense emotional responses to music in general, whereas stronger sad feelings were evoked among those who scored high on Agreeableness or Neuroticism. Listeners who liked music that made them feel sad tended to score high on Openness-to-Experience or low on Extraversion, whereas liking for music that evoked mixed feelings was associated positively with music training. The results confirm that liking for music varies as a function of the emotions it evokes and individual differences in personality and music training.
Interpersonal relationships and preferences for mood- congruency in aesthetic experiences,
Prior research examining how negative feelings influence aesthetic preferences (e.g., liking of different kinds of music, movies, or stories) has reported inconsistent findings. This article proposes a theoretical argument to explain when people are more likely to prefer mood-congruent to mood-incongruent aesthetic stimuli. It is suggested that mood-congruent aesthetic experiences, for example, listening to sad songs when feeling sad, (a) serve as a surrogate for the mood-sharing often observed in empathic relationships and hence (b) are preferred when emotional distress comes from failing interpersonal relationships (vs. noninterpersonal events). Consistent with this proposition, people’s preferences for mood-congruent music strongly correlate with their preferences for an empathic friend (experiment 1). Further, mood-congruent preferences significantly increase when people experience interpersonal (vs. noninterpersonal) distress, independent of emotional intensity, emotion type (sadness and frustration/anger), and normative issues (experiments 1–3). Further theoretical developments and future research are discussed.
Music and negative emotion,
Anhedonia to music and mu-opioids: Evidence from the administration of naltrexone
Music’s universality and its ability to deeply affect emotions suggest an evolutionary origin.
Neural correlates of specific musical anhedonia,
Abstract Although music is ubiquitous in human societies, there are some people for whom music holds no reward value despite normal perceptual ability and preserved reward-related responses in other domains. The study of these individuals with specific musical anhedonia may be crucial to understand better the neural correlates underlying musical reward. Previous neuroimaging studies have shown that musically induced pleasure may arise from the interaction between auditory cortical networks and mesolimbic reward networks. If such interaction is critical for music-induced pleasure to emerge, then those individuals who do not experience it should show alterations in the cortical-mesolimbic response. In the current study, we addressed this question using fMRI in three groups of 15 participants, each with different sensitivity to music reward. We demonstrate that the music anhedonic participants showed selective reduction of activity for music in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc), but normal activation levels for a monetary gambling task. Furthermore, this group also exhibited decreased functional connectivity between the right auditory cortex and ventral striatum (including the NAcc). In contrast, individuals with greater than average response to music showed enhanced connectivity between these structures. Thus, our results suggest that specific musical anhedonia may be associated with a reduction in the interplay between the auditory cortex and the subcortical reward network, indicating a pivotal role of this interaction for the enjoyment of music.
Towards a psychological construct of being moved,
Abstract The emotional state of being moved, though frequently referred to in both classical rhetoric and current language use, is far from established as a well-defined psychological construct. In a series of three studies, we investigated eliciting scenarios, emotional ingredients, appraisal patterns, feeling qualities, and the affective signature of being moved and related emotional states. The great majority of the eliciting scenarios can be assigned to significant relationship and critical life events (especially death, birth, marriage, separation, and reunion). Sadness and joy turned out to be the two preeminent emotions involved in episodes of being moved. Both the sad and the joyful variants of being moved showed a coactivation of positive and negative affect and can thus be ranked among the mixed emotions. Moreover, being moved, while featuring only low-to-mid arousal levels, was experienced as an emotional state of high intensity; this applied to responses to fictional artworks no less than to own-life and other real, but media-represented, events. The most distinctive findings regarding cognitive appraisal dimensions were very low ratings for causation of the event by oneself and for having the power to change its outcome, along with very high ratings for appraisals of compatibility with social norms and self-ideals. Putting together the characteristics identified and discussed throughout the three studies, the paper ends with a sketch of a psychological construct of being moved.
The Distancing- Embracing model of the enjoyment of negative emotions in art reception,
Abstract Why are negative emotions so central in art reception far beyond tragedy? Revisiting classical aesthetics in light of recent psychological research, we present a novel model to explain this much-discussed (apparent) paradox. We argue that negative emotions are an important resource for the arts in general rather than a special license for exceptional art forms only. The underlying rationale is that negative emotions have been shown to be particularly powerful in securing attention, intense emotional involvement, and high memorability-nd hence precisely in what artworks strive for. Two groups of processing mechanisms are identified that conjointly adopt the particular powers of negative emotions for art's purposes. The first group consists of psychological distancing mechanisms that are activated along with the cognitive schemata of art, representation, and fiction. These schemata imply personal safety and control over continuing or discontinuing exposure to artworks, thereby preventing negative emotions from becoming outright incompatible with expectations of enjoyment. This distancing sets the stage for a second group of processing components that allow art recipients to positively embrace the experiencing of negative emotions, thereby rendering art reception more intense, more interesting, more emotionally moving, more profound, and occasionally even more beautiful. These components include compositional interplays of positive and negative emotions, the effects of aesthetic virtues of using the media of (re)presentation (musical sound, words/language, color, shapes) on emotion perception, and meaning-making efforts. Moreover, our D istancing - mbracing model proposes that concomitant mixed emotions often help to integrate negative emotions into altogether pleasurable trajectories.
The rewards of music listening: Response and physiological connectivity of the mesolimbic system,
Abstract Although the neural underpinnings of music cognition have been widely studied in the last 5 years, relatively little is known about the neuroscience underlying emotional reactions that music induces in listeners. Many people spend a significant amount of time listening to music, and its emotional power is assumed but not well understood. Here, we use functional and effective connectivity analyses to show for the first time that listening to music strongly modulates activity in a network of mesolimbic structures involved in reward processing including the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and the ventral tegmental area (VTA), as well as the hypothalamus and insula, which are thought to be involved in regulating autonomic and physiological responses to rewarding and emotional stimuli. Responses in the NAc and the VTA were strongly correlated pointing to an association between dopamine release and NAc response to music. Responses in the NAc and the hypothalamus were also strongly correlated across subjects, suggesting a mechanism by which listening to pleasant music evokes physiological reactions. Effective connectivity confirmed these findings, and showed significant VTA-mediated interaction of the NAc with the hypothalamus, insula, and orbitofrontal cortex. The enhanced functional and effective connectivity between brain regions mediating reward, autonomic, and cognitive processing provides insight into understanding why listening to music is one of the most rewarding and pleasurable human experiences.
A functional MRI study of happy and sad affective states induced by classical music,
Abstract The present study investigated the functional neuroanatomy of transient mood changes in response to Western classical music. In a pilot experiment, 53 healthy volunteers (mean age: 32.0; SD = 9.6) evaluated their emotional responses to 60 classical musical pieces using a visual analogue scale (VAS) ranging from 0 (sad) through 50 (neutral) to 100 (happy). Twenty pieces were found to accurately induce the intended emotional states with good reliability, consisting of 5 happy, 5 sad, and 10 emotionally unevocative, neutral musical pieces. In a subsequent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study, the blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) signal contrast was measured in response to the mood state induced by each musical stimulus in a separate group of 16 healthy participants (mean age: 29.5; SD = 5.5). Mood state ratings during scanning were made by a VAS, which confirmed the emotional valence of the selected stimuli. Increased BOLD signal contrast during presentation of happy music was found in the ventral and dorsal striatum, anterior cingulate, parahippocampal gyrus, and auditory association areas. With sad music, increased BOLD signal responses were noted in the hippocampus/amygdala and auditory association areas. Presentation of neutral music was associated with increased BOLD signal responses in the insula and auditory association areas. Our findings suggest that an emotion processing network in response to music integrates the ventral and dorsal striatum, areas involved in reward experience and movement; the anterior cingulate, which is important for targeting attention; and medial temporal areas, traditionally found in the appraisal and processing of emotions. Copyright 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Pleasure generated by sadness: Effect of sad lyrics on the emotions induced by happy music,
Abstract We examined whether sad lyrics influenced the emotions induced by happy-sounding music. The listening experiment consisted of three conditions: happy-sounding music with sad lyrics sung in a foreign language; the translation of the sad lyrics; and the happy music with the translation of the sad lyrics. Participants rated their emotional perception of the material and their feelings in each condition. The results showed that pleasant feelings of the same intensity were induced when happy-sounding music (with foreign language sad lyrics) and happy music (with translated sad lyrics) were played, but not when sad lyrics were presented alone. Moreover, although the perception of happiness predicted the degree of pleasant feelings when only happy music or only sad lyrics were presented, the perception of sadness predicted pleasant feelings when happy music with sad lyrics was presented. This study suggests that when happy-sounding music with sad lyrics is presented, the listener has pleasant feelings generated by the perception of sadness.
Two types of peak emotional responses to music: The psychophysiology of chills and tears,
Abstract People sometimes experience a strong emotional response to artworks. Previous studies have demonstrated that the peak emotional experience of chills (goose bumps or shivers) when listening to music involves psychophysiological arousal and a rewarding effect. However, many aspects of peak emotion are still not understood. The current research takes a new perspective of peak emotional response of tears (weeping, lump in the throat). A psychophysiological experiment showed that self-reported chills increased electrodermal activity and subjective arousal whereas tears produced slow respiration during heartbeat acceleration, although both chills and tears induced pleasure and deep breathing. A song that induced chills was perceived as being both happy and sad whereas a song that induced tears was perceived as sad. A tear-eliciting song was perceived as calmer than a chill-eliciting song. These results show that tears involve pleasure from sadness and that they are psychophysiologically calming; thus, psychophysiological responses permit the distinction between chills and tears. Because tears may have a cathartic effect, the functional significance of chills and tears seems to be different. We believe that the distinction of two types of peak emotions is theoretically relevant and further study of tears would contribute to more understanding of human peak emotional response.
The emotional sources of “chills” induced by music,
Music modifies moods and emotions by interacting with brain mechanisms that remain to be identified. One powerful emotional effect induced by music is a shivery, gooseflesh type of skin sensation (commonly called "chills" or "thrills"), which may reflect the brain's ability to extract specific kinds of emotional meaning from music. A large survey indicated that college-age students typically prefer to label this phenomenon as "chills" rather than "thrills," but many mistakenly believe that happiness in music is more influential in evoking the response than sadness. A series of correlational studies analyzing the subjective experience of chills in groups of students listening to a variety of musical pieces indicated that chills are related to the perceived emotional content of various selections, with much stronger relations to perceived sadness than happiness. As a group, females report feeling more chills than males do. Because feelings of sadness typically arise from the severance of established social bonds, there may exist basic neurochemical similarities between the chilling emotions evoked by music and those engendered by social loss. Further study of the "chill" response should help clarify how music interacts with a specific emotional process of the normal human brain.
Fifty shades of blue: Classification of music-evoked sadness,
It has been repeatedly shown that sad music induces mainly pleasant or mixed emotions, and is particularly relevant for self-regulation goals. However, this is not entirely compatible with the view that sadness is one of the basic emotions experienced in the face of an unpleasant event or a loss. Also, a distinction between grief and sadness is often drawn, which seemingly does not have relevance in relation to musical experiences. The discrepancy between the positive accounts of emotions associated with sad music and those present in ordinary sadness may be related to the previously unacknowledged spectrum of affects associated with music-related sadness. The present study aims to expose the underlying affective experiences of music-related sadness. To examine this, a large qualitative data, consisting of open-ended answers from 363 participants, was subjected to thematic content analysis. The analysis revealed a range of emotions experienced which were classified into three themes: Grief, Melancholia, and Sweet sorrow. These themes differed depending on the valence of the overall experience and the contextual aspects. In addition, emotion induction mechanisms distinguished the themes and several previously unidentified types of affect regulation were observed. Variations in the ways people conceptualise sadness and music lead to differences in the affect regulation processes. In contrast to past research, the results suggest that truly negative emotions are relevant in association with music-related sadness. Dividing the music-evoked sadness into different categories of affective experiences helps to explain the current discrepancies and paradoxes surrounding sadness and music.
The pleasures of sad music: A systematic review,
Sadness is generally seen as a negative emotion, a response to distressing and adverse situations. In an aesthetic context, however, sadness is often associated with some degree of pleasure, as suggested by the ubiquity and popularity, throughout history, of music, plays, films and paintings with a sad content. Here, we focus on the fact that music regarded as sad is often experienced as pleasurable. Compared to other art forms, music has an exceptional ability to evoke a wide-range of feelings and is especially beguiling when it deals with grief and sorrow. Why is it, then, that while human survival depends on preventing painful experiences, mental pain often turns out to be explicitly sought through music? In this article we consider why and how sad music can become pleasurable. We offer a framework to account for how listening to sad music can lead to positive feelings, contending that this effect hinges on correcting an ongoing homeostatic imbalance. Sadness evoked by music is found pleasurable: (1) when it is perceived as non-threatening; (2) when it is aesthetically pleasing; and (3) when it produces psychological benefits such as mood regulation, and empathic feelings, caused, for example, by recollection of and reflection on past events. We also review neuroimaging studies related to music and emotion and focus on those that deal with sadness. Further exploration of the neural mechanisms through which stimuli that usually produce sadness can induce a positive affective state could help the development of effective therapies for disorders such as depression, in which the ability to experience pleasure is attenuated.
Anatomically distinct dopamine release during anticipation and experience of peak emotion to music,
Abstract Music, an abstract stimulus, can arouse feelings of euphoria and craving, similar to tangible rewards that involve the striatal dopaminergic system. Using the neurochemical specificity of [(11)C]raclopride positron emission tomography scanning, combined with psychophysiological measures of autonomic nervous system activity, we found endogenous dopamine release in the striatum at peak emotional arousal during music listening. To examine the time course of dopamine release, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging with the same stimuli and listeners, and found a functional dissociation: the caudate was more involved during the anticipation and the nucleus accumbens was more involved during the experience of peak emotional responses to music. These results indicate that intense pleasure in response to music can lead to dopamine release in the striatal system. Notably, the anticipation of an abstract reward can result in dopamine release in an anatomical pathway distinct from that associated with the peak pleasure itself. Our results help to explain why music is of such high value across all human societies.
Interactions between the nucleus accumbens and auditory cortices predict music reward value,
Predictions and the brain: How musical sounds become rewarding,
Music has always played a central role in human culture. The question of how musical sounds can have such profound emotional and rewarding effects has been a topic of interest throughout generations. At a fundamental level, listening to music involves tracking a series of sound events over time. Because humans are experts in pattern recognition, temporal predictions are constantly generated, creating a sense of anticipation. We summarize how complex cognitive abilities and cortical processes integrate with fundamental subcortical reward and motivation systems in the brain to give rise to musical pleasure. This work builds on previous theoretical models that emphasize the role of prediction in music appreciation by integrating these ideas with recent neuroscientific evidence.
Which emotions can be induced by music? What are the underlying mechanisms? And how can we measure them?,
The study of emotional effects of music is handicapped by a lack of appropriate research paradigms and methods, due to a dearth of conceptual-theoretical analyses of the process underlying emotion production via music. It is shown that none of the three major assessment methods for emotion induction – lists of basic emotions, valence-arousal dimensions, and eclectic emotion inventories – is well suited to the task. By focusing on a small number of evolutionarily continuous basic emotions one downplays the more complex forms of emotional processes in humans, especially affective feeling states produced by music which do not serve adaptive behavioral functions. Similarly, a description of emotional effects of music limited to valence and arousal gradations precludes assessment of the kind of qualitative differentiation required by the study of the subtle emotional effects of music. Finally, eclectic lists of emotions generated by researchers to suit the needs of a particular study may lack validity and reliability and render a comparison of research results difficult. A second problem consists in the tendency to assume that “emotions” and “feelings” are synonyms. It is suggested that “feelings” can be profitably conceptualized as a central component of emotion, which integrates all other components and serves as the basis for the conscious representation of emotional processes and for affect regulation. It is proposed that a radical paradigm change is required to free research on the emotional effects of music from the excessive constraints imposed by these two common misconceptions. Concretely, it is suggested that affect produced by music should be studied as (more or less conscious) feelings that integrate cognitive and physiological effects, which may be accounted for by widely different production rules. Suggestions for new ways of measuring affective states induced by music are made.
What are emotions? And how can they be measured?,
Enjoyment of negative emotions in music: An associative network explanation,
It is paradoxical that people should like music that evokes negative emotions. In this article an associative network, incorporating principles of connectionism and semantic networks, is presented to explain this incongruity. Negative and positive emotion nodes are appropriately connected to pleasure and displeasure centres. Activation of any nodes, apart from those in the "displeasure centre", results in the sensation of pleasure. An aesthetic context activates a node which inhibits this displeasure centre. Therefore, in an aesthetic context, such as listening to music, any activation is pleasurable. Negative emotion nodes representing anger, sadness or fear can become activated and at the same time be enjoyed. Changing nodal activation thresholds explains why musical preferences do not remain constant. It is proposed that such networks may be useful in providing a mechanistic explanation of other aesthetic experiences in response to music.
Loved music can make a listener feel negative emotions,
This paper tested the applicability of cognitive unit activation (CUA) theory to explain the paradoxical enjoyment of felt negative emotions in music. CUA refers to preference for activation of cognitive units (as distinct from non-activation) as proposed by Martindale (1984, 1988). Content analysis of open-ended responses by 60 participants to a self-selected loved and hated piece of music was conducted. Negative emotions were spontaneously evoked for the loved music condition by 19 participants. The same salient emotions (e.g., sadness) could be evoked by both loved and hated music. The distinction between terms used to described loved versus hated music led to a reappraisal of past literature, with the conclusion that there are qualitative differences among negative emotions, those which occur as affect valence (AV) and those which occur as emotion valence (EV). When a piece of music is hated, the disliking or avoidance response in itself is considered negative AV - regardless of the EV (e.g., sadness) induced in the listener. Consequently, the CUA model is modified by addition of a negative AV inhibiter to explain how sadness can activate a cognitive unit, thus adding to the enjoyment of the experience, without producing avoidance intentions/behaviors (dislike of the music leading to a desire to stop it or leave it). A good match between felt and expressed emotions was more frequently reported (n = 34) for loved than for hated pieces (n = 12), suggesting activation of "mirror circuits."
Enjoying sad music: Paradox or parallel processes?,
Enjoyment of negative emotions in music is seen by many as a paradox. This article argues that the paradox exists because it is difficult to view the process that generates enjoyment as being part of the same system that also generates the subjective negative feeling. Compensation theories explain the paradox as the compensation of a negative emotion by the concomitant presence of one or more positive emotions. But compensation brings us no closer to explaining the paradox because it does not explain how experiencing sadness itself is enjoyed. The solution proposed is that an emotion is determined by three critical processes-攍abeled motivational action tendency (MAT), subjective feeling (SF) and Appraisal. For many emotions the MAT and SF processes are coupled in valence. For example, happiness has positive MAT and positive SF, annoyance has negative MAT and negative SF. However, it is argued that in an aesthetic context, such as listening to music, emotion processes can become decoupled. The decoupling is controlled by the Appraisal process, which can assess if the context of the sadness is real-life (where coupling occurs) or aesthetic (where decoupling can occur). In an aesthetic context sadness retains its negative SF but the aversive, negative MAT is inhibited, leaving sadness to still be experienced as a negative valanced emotion, while contributing to the overall positive MAT. Individual differences, mood and previous experiences mediate the degree to which the aversive aspects of MAT are inhibited according to this Parallel Processing Hypothesis (PPH). The reason for hesitancy in considering or testing PPH, as well as the preponderance of research on sadness at the exclusion of other negative emotions, are discussed.
Discrete cortical regions associated with the musical beauty of major and minor chords,
Previous research has demonstrated that the degree of aesthetic pleasure a person experiences correlates with the activation of reward functions in the brain. However, it is unclear whether different affective qualities and the perceptions of beauty that they evoke correspond to specific areas of brain activation. Major and minor musical keys induce two types of affective qualities—bright/happy and dark/sad—that both evoke aesthetic pleasure. In the present study, we used positron emission tomography to demonstrate that the two musical keys (major and minor) activate distinct brain areas. Minor consonant chords perceived as beautiful strongly activated the right striatum, which has been assumed to play an important role in reward and emotion processing, whereas major consonant chords perceived as beautiful induced significant activity in the left middle temporal gyrus, which is believed to be related to coherent and orderly information processing. These results suggest that major and minor keys, both of which are perceived as beautiful, are processed differently in the brain.
The paradox of music- evoked sadness: An online survey,
Abstract This study explores listeners' experience of music-evoked sadness. Sadness is typically assumed to be undesirable and is therefore usually avoided in everyday life. Yet the question remains: Why do people seek and appreciate sadness in music? We present findings from an online survey with both Western and Eastern participants (N = 772). The survey investigates the rewarding aspects of music-evoked sadness, as well as the relative contribution of listener characteristics and situational factors to the appreciation of sad music. The survey also examines the different principles through which sadness is evoked by music, and their interaction with personality traits. Results show 4 different rewards of music-evoked sadness: reward of imagination, emotion regulation, empathy, and no "real-life" implications. Moreover, appreciation of sad music follows a mood-congruent fashion and is greater among individuals with high empathy and low emotional stability. Surprisingly, nostalgia rather than sadness is the most frequent emotion evoked by sad music. Correspondingly, memory was rated as the most important principle through which sadness is evoked. Finally, the trait empathy contributes to the evocation of sadness via contagion, appraisal, and by engaging social functions. The present findings indicate that emotional responses to sad music are multifaceted, are modulated by empathy, and are linked with a multidimensional experience of pleasure. These results were corroborated by a follow-up survey on happy music, which indicated differences between the emotional experiences resulting from listening to sad versus happy music. This is the first comprehensive survey of music-evoked sadness, revealing that listening to sad music can lead to beneficial emotional effects such as regulation of negative emotion and mood as well as consolation. Such beneficial emotional effects constitute the prime motivations for engaging with sad music in everyday life.
Mapping aesthetic musical emotions in the brain,
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.
The appeal of sad music: A brief overview of current directions in research on motivations for listening to sad music,
After happiness, sadness is the most common emotion attributed to music. A recent proliferation of research has provided intense focus on the reasons why sad music is so popular. The research presented in this paper aims to summarize the results of recent studies. The findings indicate that many people report that they choose to listen to sad music when experiencing sadness, and after experiencing negative events. A range of motivations have been found as to why people choose to listen to sad music, these include the role of music in; validating emotions, providing solace, providing rewarding emotional experiences, and aiding reflection and relaxation. For people who listen to sad music as an adaptive way to cope, some evidence in this review indicates that this may be a healthy strategy more applicable for psychologically healthy people, rather than those who are depressed or anxious. Findings indicate that depressed individuals, and ruminators, can use sad music adaptively, but also maladaptively. Sad music has also been shown to provide support when people are experiencing negative life events, as it enables the expression, identification, and understanding of the situation, which in turn aids the experience of consolation, and, ultimately, acceptance coping. Future directions for research, and the potential uses of sad music listening in therapeutic settings are discussed.
Exploring a rationale for choosing to listen to sad music when feeling sad,
Choosing to listen to self-identified sad music after experiencing negative psychological circumstances seems paradoxical given the commonly-held view that people are motivated to seek a positive affective state when distressed. We examined the motivations people described to listen to music they identified as sad, particularly when experiencing negative circumstances, and the self-reported effects of this activity. We asked adults to respond to an online survey and analyzed their narrative reports using a modified grounded theory approach. Responses were received from 65 adults across five countries. The process that underlies choosing to listen to sad music as well as the self-regulatory strategies and functions of sad music were identified. The music-selection strategies included: connection; selecting music based on memory triggers; high aesthetic value; and message communicated. The functions of these strategies were in the domains of (re-)experiencing affect, cognitive, social, retrieving memories, friend, distraction, and mood enhancement. We additionally modelled the underlying psychological process that guides sad music listening behaviour and the effects of listening. These findings present core insights into the dynamics and value of choosing to listen to self-identified sad music when coping with negative psychological circumstances.
Listening to sad music in adverse situations: How music selection strategies relate to self-regulatory goals, listening effects, and mood enhancement,
Sad music as a means for acceptance-based coping,
Self-identified sad music (SISM) is often listened to when experiencing sad life situations. Research indicatesthat the most common reason people give for listening to SISM is -o be in touch with or express feelings ofsadness-. But why might this be the case? We suggest that one reason people choose to listen to sad musicwhen feeling sad is to accept aversive situations. We tested if SISM is associated with acceptance copingand consolation. We hypothesized that SISM relates to acceptance-based coping via the recognitionand identification of emotional states, and that people will report more acceptance from SISM than selfidentifiedhappy music when seeking consolation. In Study 1, participants recalled how happy or sadthe music sounds that they normally listen to for consolation, and if they listen to this music to gainacceptance of negative moods and situations. In Study 2, participants reported their goals when listeningto sad music during a recalled time in which they experienced an adverse life situation and whether thislead to acceptance. Study 1: People reported that they were more likely to listen to sad music than happymusic when seeking consolation, though they preferred happy music in general. Listening to SISM (butnot self-identified happy music) when seeking consolation was associated with acceptance of both anegative situation and the associated negative emotions. Additionally, seeking to deal with emotions wasassociated with both SISM listening (for consolation) and acceptance. Study 2: Listening to SISM to get intouch with and express affect was the most important self-regulatory strategy (of six examined) throughwhich acceptance was recalled to be achieved. Experiencing adverse situations or seeking consolation,people report that listening to SISM is associated with acceptance coping (through the re-experiencing ofaffect). Implications for music therapy and theories of emotional coping are discussed.
Can sad music really make you sad? Indirect measures of affective states induced by music and autobiographical memories,
ABSTRACT The present study addressed music's disputed ability to induce genuine sadness in listeners by investigating whether listening to sad music can induce sadness-related effects on memory and judgment. Related aims were to explore how the different mechanisms of music-induced emotions are involved in sadness induced by familiar, self-selected music and unfamiliar, experimenter-selected music, and whether the susceptibility to music-induced sadness is associated with trait empathy. One hundred twenty participants were randomly assigned into four conditions with different tasks: listening to unfamiliar sad or neutral music, or to self-selected sad music, or recalling a sad autobiographical event and writing about it. The induced affective states were measured indirectly using a word recall task and a judgment task where participants rated the emotions expressed by pictures depicting facial expressions. The results indicate that listening to sad music can indeed induce changes in emotion-related memory and judgment. However, this effect depends, to some extent, on the music's relevance to the listener, as well as on the personality attributes of the listener. Trait empathy contributed to the susceptibility to sadness induced by unfamiliar music, while autobiographical memories contributed to sadness induced by self-selected music.
The pleasure evoked by sad music is mediated by feelings of being moved,
Periodontitis is a chronic inflammatory disease that causes damage to periodontal tissues, which include the gingiva, periodontal ligament, and alveolar bone. The major cause of periodontal tissue destruction is an inappropriate host response to microorganisms and their products. Specifically, a homeostatic imbalance between reactive oxygen species (ROS) and antioxidant defense systems has been implicated in the pathogenesis of periodontitis. Elevated levels of ROS acting as intracellular signal transducers result in autophagy, which plays a dual role in periodontitis by promoting cell death or blocking apoptosis in infected cells. Autophagy can also regulate ROS generation and scavenging. Investigations are ongoing to elucidate the crosstalk mechanisms between ROS and autophagy. Here, we review the physiological and pathological roles of ROS and autophagy in periodontal tissues. The redox-sensitive pathways related to autophagy, such as mTORC1, Beclin 1, and the Atg12-Atg5 complex, are explored in depth to provide a comprehensive overview of the crosstalk between ROS and autophagy. Based on the current evidence, we suggest that a potential linkage between ROS and autophagy is involved in the pathogenesis of periodontitis.
Who enjoys listening to sad music and why?,
although people generally avoid negative emotionalexperiences in general, they often enjoy sadness portrayed in music and other arts. The present study investigated what kinds of subjective emotional experiences are induced in listeners by sad music, and whether the tendency to enjoy sad music is associated with particular personality traits. One hundred forty-eight participants listened to 16 music excerpts and rated their emotional responses. As expected, sadness was the most salient emotion experienced in response to sad excerpts. However, other more positive and complex emotions such as nostalgia, peacefulness, and wonder were also evident. Furthermore, two personality traits –Openness to ExperienceandEmpathy– were associated with liking for sad music and with the intensity of emotional responses induced by sad music, suggesting that aesthetic appreciation and empathetic engagement play a role in the enjoyment of sad music.
Tears falling on goosebumps: Co-occurrence of emotional lacrimation and emotional piloerection indicates a psychophysiological climax in emotional arousal,
Abstract This psychophysiological study is the first to examine the relationship between emotional tears and emotional piloerection (i.e., goosebumps). Although both phenomena have been related to peak states of being moved, details about their temporal occurrence and the associated levels of physiological arousal have remained unknown. In our study, we used emotionally powerful film scenes that were self-selected by participants. Our findings show that even within peak moments of emotional arousal, a gradation of intensity is possible. The overlap of tears and goosebumps signifies a maximal climax within peak moments. On the side of the stimulus, we found that displays of prosocial behavior play a crucial role in the elicitation of tears and goosebumps. Finally, based on the results of a formal film analysis of the tears-eliciting clips provided by our participants, as compared to randomly extracted, equally long control clips from the same films, we show how the technical and artistic making of the clips was optimized for the display of social interaction and emotional expressions.
Investigating emotional responses to self-selected sad music via self- report and automated facial analysis,
ABSTRACT People often listen to sad music in spite of its seemingly negative qualities. Sad music, and especially sad music with a personal significance, has been shown to evoke a wide span of emotions with both positive and negative qualities. We compared emotional responses to familiar self-selected sad music (SSSM) with both unfamiliar sad and unfamiliar happy music. Alongside self-reports, a commercial, continuous measure of discrete facial expressions was applied, promising an in-depth assessment of both the quality and strength of experienced affective states at any given point in time. Results of the facial analysis showed that SSSM evoked more mixed affective states than unfamiliar sad music. Also, listeners reacted with consistent facial expressions to distinct musical events, e.g. the introduction of a lead voice. SSSM evoked more self-reported feelings of nostalgia, reminiscence, being moved, and chills and tears than unfamiliar sad and happy music. Furthermore, SSSM resulted in more self-reported happiness and a similar trend with happy facial expressions compared to unfamiliar sad music. These results point to the emotional diversity and the strong involvement of positive affective states elicited by SSSM, even when compared with music of similar quality, such as unfamiliar sad music. Automated facial analysis allows us to observe emotions on a more detailed level in terms of time resolution, onset, intensity and concurrence of discrete affective states. This technique is promising for future research, particularly when investigating mixed emotions and the social aspect of emotions in response to music.
From perception to pleasure: Music and its neural substrates,
Abstract Music has existed in human societies since prehistory, perhaps because it allows expression and regulation of emotion and evokes pleasure. In this review, we present findings from cognitive neuroscience that bear on the question of how we get from perception of sound patterns to pleasurable responses. First, we identify some of the auditory cortical circuits that are responsible for encoding and storing tonal patterns and discuss evidence that cortical loops between auditory and frontal cortices are important for maintaining musical information in working memory and for the recognition of structural regularities in musical patterns, which then lead to expectancies. Second, we review evidence concerning the mesolimbic striatal system and its involvement in reward, motivation, and pleasure in other domains. Recent data indicate that this dopaminergic system mediates pleasure associated with music; specifically, reward value for music can be coded by activity levels in the nucleus accumbens, whose functional connectivity with auditory and frontal areas increases as a function of increasing musical reward. We propose that pleasure in music arises from interactions between cortical loops that enable predictions and expectancies to emerge from sound patterns and subcortical systems responsible for reward and valuation.
Emotions evoked by the sound of music: Characterization, classification, and measurement,
One reason for the universal appeal of music lies in the emotional rewards that music offers to its listeners. But what makes these rewards so special? The authors addressed this question by progressively characterizing music-induced emotions in 4 interrelated studies. Studies 1 and 2 (n=354) were conducted to compile a list of music-relevant emotion terms and to study the frequency of both felt and perceived emotions across 5 groups of listeners with distinct music preferences. Emotional responses varied greatly according to musical genre and type of response (felt vs. perceived). Study 3 (n=801)--a field study carried out during a music festival--examined the structure of music-induced emotions via confirmatory factor analysis of emotion ratings, resulting in a 9-factorial model of music-induced emotions. Study 4 (n=238) replicated this model and found that it accounted for music-elicited emotions better than the basic emotion and dimensional emotion models. A domain-specific device to measure musically induced emotions is introduced--the Geneva Emotional Music Scale.
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