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Musicians Have A Biological Advantage When It Comes To Emotions In Sounds

Musicians Have A Biological Advantage When It Comes To Emotions In Sounds | Music to work to | Scoop.it
In a study in the latest issue of European Journal of Neuroscience, an interdisciplinary Northwestern research team says they have found biological evidence that musical training enhances an individual's ability to recognize emotion in sound. The ...
Andrew McCluskey's insight:

Deep in the whole music and language relationship again but here' a study from 2009 that showed that musical training enhanced a person's ability to identify emotion in sound.  Which when you think about it - has lots of advantages (bullshit detector anyone?)

This is another Nina Kraus directed study from Northwestern and involved lots of brain stem analysis through scalp electrodes (cool!) If musicians brains get to the emotional aspect of sound faster and more economically it is posited that musical training might be a great tool to help aspergers and autistic people - would make sense.

 

Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/umdnews/5985718936/

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Music in Dreams

Music in Dreams | Music to work to | Scoop.it
Andrew McCluskey's insight:

A write up of a small 2005 study that looked at how music figured in dreams by comparing dream diaries of 35 musicians against 35 non musicians.  I guess unsurprisingly enough the musicians dreamt of music more than twice as much as the non-musicians - but the really fun part was that about half of the music recalled by the dreamers was "non-standard." 

 

The idea that you can be creating new music when you're asleep is mighty enticing and is in line with the famous "sleeping compositions" of Berlioz and Stravinsky.    I know from my own experience that I can wake with a theme in my head that surely wasn't there the night before.  I really like this and it fits nicely with the idea of flow and subconscious creativity - I'm guessing it doesn't have to be just music either!

 

Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/alicepopkorn/7112840821/

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Kelvin Omila's curator insight, November 5, 2013 12:59 PM

This is a very interesting article and research topic. The article talks about how there has not been a study documenting music happening in our dreams.

 

"...In this study, 35 professional musicians and 35 non-professional musicians took part. The professional musicians were all either instrumental or vocal performers of “Western tonal music” while the non-professional musicians were all undergraduate students..."

 

I agree with the article that upon waking up from a dream where you experience hearing music, that it carries on throughout the day and that you cannot seem to forget that music or it repeatedly plays the tune over and over again.

 

Very interesting read.

 

 

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Sophomore looks at the effects of Music on Studying

Sophomore looks at the effects of Music on Studying | Music to work to | Scoop.it
Go Ashton Clinger! She seems like a girl after my own heart. Click through and read the article as not only is it an interesting read but her results seem to match up with the much larger data generated by Dr. Haake when she studied the effects of music in the work place. Bottom line - it seems that if you like the music you're listening to - or at least have control over it - then it does aid performance - force people to listen to music they don't like - and that's when it becomes a distraction.


Cascade sophomore takes her analysis of the effects of music on studying to ...Great Falls Tribune"Classical music won't be on the radios of any high schoolers' trucks," she said.
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Music choice as a sadness regulation strategy

Music choice as a sadness regulation strategy | Music to work to | Scoop.it
Andrew McCluskey's insight:

This is really interesting although I'd love to find out some clearer definitions of what a resolved versus unresolved sadness event was - also - I love the idea of the mood freeze - where the subject  takes a placebo pill that (they're told) has the effect of making their emotional state immune to change for an hour - awesome - I love psychology!

 

Anyway, this study looked at how people used music to manage their emotional state in relation to sadness events in their lives -  the results indicate that if you haven't yet dealt with a sadness event - say something bad has happened and you haven't yet fully processed it - looked at it - resolved it - you're more likely to use positive and upbeat music to help you cope with it.  Once you have resolved it, then the upbeat music is no longer necessary.

 

The interesting kicker is when they were in a mood freeze state - where study subjects believed that there was nothing they could do to change how they felt - the groups tended not to choose upbeat music.

 

Fascinating to see how people innately use music to alter their mood and emotional state.

 

Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/emmey/2605069839/

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Music, Learning and You

Music, Learning and You | Music to work to | Scoop.it
Andrew McCluskey's insight:

This is a really fascinating study - it took me a while to work out and explain exactly what was going on - but bear with me - 'cos the results are super interesting.   This is from the Neuroaesthetics of Music Group up inHelsinkiFinland.  73 subjects and using an FMRI to look at what's happening in the brain!

 

Three things you need to hold in your head:

 

Thing 1:

 

This is a basic learning test - where the subjects are presented with a pair of symbols and they are trained to select and remember the correct one.  They get three rounds of training and feedback is given with either a smiley or a frowny face.  After training, they are given a test and are scored on how many they get right.

 

Thing 2:

 

Before the testing, the subjects are given 14 pieces of music which they self select into 3 pieces of "neutral" music and 3 pieces of "pleasurable" music.  They also answer a series of questions about their personal musical experiences.

 

Thing 3:

 

This is the fun bit - while the subjects are doing the learning and the testing - they are being played either neutral music or pleasurable music (self identified remember?)  This enables the researchers to test the effect of different music types on learning behavior and to match it against musical experience - genius!

 

OK - so you've got those three things in your head - now let's look at the results.

 

Results

 

Seems that if you're someone with a lot of musical experience - you learn better when listening to neutral music - but you test better when listening to pleasurable music.

 

If you're less musical - you learn better with pleasurable music, but you test better with neutral music - the complete opposite.

 

That's pretty interesting!  The researchers propose that this is due to different listening strategies between the two groups which would make sense - but what does that mean.

 

I reckon that as a musician I'm naturally more attuned to devote mental resource to music than a non-musician and I'm likely to devote even more resource to music that I like.  So - when I'm learning something - when I'm forming neural pathways and connections - I want as much resource made available to me as possible - so - neutral music is better.  However - when I'm testing - which is more about recall and memory than it is about building - then I want to feel good - I want to juice my system - so - even though I might lose some resource by listening to music I like - I feel significantly better - which impacts and improves my test performance.

 

As a non-musician - the difference between resource allocated to neutral or pleasurable music is probably a lot less, so when it comes to learning - the "feel good" factor of pleasurable music seems to outweigh the  resource cost.  However - when it comes to testing - it might be that the resource cost of pleasurable music may become distracting and outweighs the feel good factor.

 

Who knows?

 

I think this kind of research and study is amazing and could lead to massive changes in how we learn and perform and the role of music within that process.  You go Helsinki!

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Why Listening to Music at Work Could Make You Smarter | music2work2 | Music

Why Listening to Music at Work Could Make You Smarter | music2work2 | Music | Music to work to | Scoop.it
Andrew’s dissertation for his psychology degree demonstrates that adding noise to your environment will increase performance – up to a point!
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