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Blame it on the bossa nova: Transfer of perceived sexiness from music to touch

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Fritz,  Tom
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;
Institute for Psychoacoustics and Electronic Music, Ghent University, Belgium;

Brummerloh,  Berit
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

Urquijo,  Maria
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

Wegner,  Katharina
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Reimer,  Enrico
Department Neurophysics (Weiskopf), MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Gutekunst,  Sven
Department Neuropsychology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Schneider,  Lydia
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Smallwood,  Jonathan
Department Social Neuroscience, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Villringer,  Arno
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Fritz, T., Brummerloh, B., Urquijo, M., Wegner, K., Reimer, E., Gutekunst, S., et al. (2017). Blame it on the bossa nova: Transfer of perceived sexiness from music to touch. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 146(9), 1360-1365. doi:10.1037/xge0000329.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002D-92A2-E
Abstract
Emotion elicited through music transfers to subsequent processing of facial expressions. Music may accordingly function as a social technology by promoting social bonding. Here, we investigated whether music would cross-modally influence the perception of sensual touch, a behavior related to mating. A robot applied precisely controlled gentle touch to a group of healthy participants while they listened to music that varied with respect to its perceived sexiness. As the perceived sexiness of the music increased, so did the subjective sexiness of the touch stimulations. In short, the perception of sexiness transferred from music to touch. Because sensual touch is key to mating behavior and relates to procreation, this association has implications for the universality and evolutionary significance of music.