Vol.4 No.6 (November 2014)
Musical Emotion and Its Neural Basis
Musical emotion, refers to music-evoked emotion, and reflects the value of music. Different from daily emotional stimuli, music often induces individual experience of happiness. Functional neuroimaging studies show that musical emotion can modulate activity in virtually all limbic and paralimbic brain structures, hypothalamus, insula, anterior cingulate cortex, hippocampus and prefrontal cortex, especially orbitofrontal cortex, nucleus accumbens and amygdale. Moreover, varieties of neurotransmitters, including dopamine, are involved in the processing of musical emotion. Those regions and neurochemicals are highly overlapped with reward system, which may explain why music induces pleasure. Researches in future can focus on standardization of music materials, and effect factors such as personality, control of culture, and neural interactions between subcortical and cortical regions.
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