Filed under: Culture

Music stirs up emotional response


New research published in the journal PlOs One has pinpointed the factors of a musical performance that cause a shift in your emotions and how this affects our brain activity after a moving performance.

To conduct the study, participants listened to both a recording of a piece of music performed by an expert musician on a computerized piano, and then to the same song, only this time it was a synthesized version created by a computer. The two had the same musical elements however the one performed by the musician featured the dynamic changes in tempo and loudness,  contrasts that pianists use to evoke an emotional response. And it was proven that the human touch–the pianist’s recorded performance–stirred up the emotional neural centres of the brain more than the mechanical performance.

And I am sure that is why I enjoyed this NKOTBSB performance as much as I did.

2 Comments December 21, 2010

Lower-class advantage

Sure the upper class may have trust funds and designer wardrobes, better education and job opps–but the lower classes have an edge over the upper class in one respect: reading other people’s emotions says new research published in Psychological Science.

Wonder if that explains the appalling behaviour on the reality show High Society…perhaps they just couldn’t recognize each other’s feelings?

Leave a Comment November 23, 2010

The upside of anger

Anger increases desire, according to a study published in Psychological Science. A brief synopsis of how the study was conducted: participants were shown objects on a computer screen; before being shown the objects, a face that was neutral, angry or fearful flashed on the screen (so quickly that it was subliminal to the participants), linking an emotion to the object; each person was then asked how much they wanted the objects. In a variation of the study, participants had to squeeze a grip to demo how much they wanted each object.

And the results? Anger triggered the most want or desire for the object.

Wonder if this is what I witnessed at the Barney’s Warehouse Sale in NYC this August. The crazy crowds, the long lines, shoes and boots falling off shelves and hitting me in the head, women yelling at the sales staff for shoes that disappeared from their pile, the fight to catch a glimpse in the mirror–all kinda leads one to feel kinda P.O.’d…but I suppose everyone’s anger was outweighed by shopping giddiness. People seemed plenty cheerful  forking out the cash for their shopping bags full of still-not-cheap designer goods.

(full disclosure: I caved into my “anger” and picked up some ankle boots).

I can only imagine the pandemonium on Nov. 20th when Lanvin for H&M hits stores. Worth camping out for and getting good and angry over people cutting into line? In a word, YES–I’m sure you’ve already seen it, but if you haven’t, you can check out the collection here.

Leave a Comment November 3, 2010

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