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Journal Article

Basic, specific, mechanistic? Conceptualizing musical emotions in the brain


Omigie,  Diana       
Department of Music, Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, Max Planck Society;

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Omigie, D. (2016). Basic, specific, mechanistic? Conceptualizing musical emotions in the brain. Journal of Comparative Neurology. Special Issue: Brain Circuits of Positive Emotions, 524(8), 1676-1686. doi:10.1002/cne.23854.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0028-497C-1
The number of studies investigating music processing in the human brain continues to increase, with a large proportion of them focussing on the correlates of so-called musical emotions. The current Review highlights the recent development whereby such studies are no longer concerned only with basic emotions such as happiness and sadness but also with so-called music-specific or “aesthetic” ones such as nostalgia and wonder. It also highlights how mechanisms such as expectancy and empathy, which are seen as inducing musical emotions, are enjoying ever-increasing investigation and substantiation with physiological and neuroimaging methods. It is proposed that a combination of these approaches, namely, investigation of the precise mechanisms through which so-called music-specific or aesthetic emotions may arise, will provide the most important advances for our understanding of the unique nature of musical experience