IS THE EMOTIONAL SYSTEM ISOLABLE FROM THE COGNITIVE SYSTEM IN THE BRAIN?
Department of Psychology
University of Montreal
Montreal, Québec H3C 317
Background: A central question in cognitive neurosciences is related to the functional and neuroanatomical autonomy of the emotion recognition system with regard to the perceptual and memory system. Such a distinction is well established for faces. For music, a similar dissociation has recently emerged in the literature.
Aims: The goal of the presentation will be to summarise these recent studies performed in neuropsychology, with a brain-damaged patient and with brain imagery techniques.
Main Contribution: It will be suggested that emotion and recognition share a common perceptual analysis system but differ in the type of structural characteristics that are needed to achieve their respective goal. For instance, minor and major mode and tempo are important perceptual determinants of the happy-sad distinction in music. In contrast, mode and tempo are of little importance for discrimination and identity recognition. Similarly, I will show that emotional judgement of dissonance in subcortical structures cannot take place without initial perceptual analysis in the auditory cortex.
Implications: Emotions cannot be totally divorced from structural organisation of the musical input. Emotional judgements provide a novel and indirect way to study implicit knowledge of musical structure.
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