A neurobiological approach to musical aesthetic sensations

Alice Mado Proverbio
in NODES 17-18 →
Music is a powerful means of communication. Sometimes the composer has the specific intention to express a given emotion hoping that it will be recognized as such by listeners (e.g., in a Requiem). Other times the composer does not care about whether listeners will perceive the music the way they intended it, or even believes that the author is irrelevant in determining the musical meaning (e.g., for Structuralists). Anyhow, neuroscientists have shown that listening to different types of tonal and atonal music may modulate differently psychological mood and physiological responses associated with the induced emotions. We will describe neuroscientific studies performed in composers, musicians and naïve listeners, with behavioral and neuroimaging techniques, aiming at understanding whether, besides personal taste, culture and musical expertise, some intrinsic harmonic or melodic properties might be identified in the architecture of a piece, able to interact with innate neurobiological structures of the brain in a predictive and pretty universal manner.