The present study is focused on a review of the current state of investigating music-evoked emotions experimentally, theoretically and with respect to their therapeutic potentials. After a concise historical overview and a schematic of the hearing mechanisms, experimental studies on music listeners and on music performers are discussed, starting with the presentation of characteristic musical stimuli and the basic features of tomographic imaging of emotional activation in the brain, such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and positron emission tomography (PET), which offer high spatial resolution in the millimeter range. The progress in correlating activation imaging in the brain to the psychological understanding of music-evoked emotion is demonstrated and some prospects for future research are outlined. Research in psychoneuroendocrinology and molecular markers is reviewed in the context of music-evoked emotions and the results indicate that the research in this area should be intensified. An assessment of studies involving measuring techniques with high temporal resolution down to the 10 ms range, as, e.g., electroencephalography (EEG), event-related brain potentials (ERP), magnetoencephalography (MEG), skin conductance response (SCR), finger temperature, and goose bump development (piloerection) can yield information on the dynamics and kinetics of emotion. Genetic investigations reviewed suggest the heredity transmission of a predilection for music. Theoretical approaches to musical emotion are directed to a unified model for experimental neurological evidence and aesthetic judgment. Finally, the reports on musical therapy are briefly outlined. The study concludes with an outlook on emerging technologies and future research fields.
Schaefer, H. E. (2017, November 24). Music-evoked emotions-Current studies. Frontiers in Neuroscience. Frontiers Media S.A. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2017.00600