Multidimensional scaling of emotional responses to music: The effect of musical expertise and of the duration of the excerpts
What does music convey to the mind that may possibly explain its powerful effect on human behavior? While it is already well known that music can convey emotions, there is little evidence that it can also communicate concepts. We will first describe the theoretical framework that needs to be taken into account when studying conceptual processing in music. We will then present recent results that have been interpreted as signs of conceptual processing in music: the effect of a sound or a musical context on the processing of a target word (and vice-versa) as well as a gating paradigm exploring the unfolding of familiarity in music listening. These results are of interest in the discussion of whether separate neuronal networks or general cognitive resources are at work in processing concepts issued from different domains (e.g., language and music). Moreover, they are relevant to musical memory and the issue of a musical mental lexicon and the representations it may contain.