Passive music listening spontaneously engages limbic and paralimbic systems

  title={Passive music listening spontaneously engages limbic and paralimbic systems},
  author={Steven Brown and Michael J. Martinez and Lawrence M. Parsons},
In this PET study, non-musicians passively listened to unfamiliar instrumental music revealed afterward to elicit strongly pleasant feelings. Activations were observed in the subcallosal cingulate gyrus, prefrontal anterior cingulate, retrosplenial cortex, hippocampus, anterior insula, and nucleus accumbens. This is the first observation of spontaneous responses in such limbic and paralimbic areas during passive listening to unfamiliar although liked music. Activations were also seen in primary… 

Neural basis of music perception.

  • P. Janata
  • Psychology
    Handbook of clinical neurology
  • 2015

Anterior cingulate and medial prefrontal cortex response to systematically controlled tonal dissonance during passive music listening

It is demonstrated that the systematic control of musical dissonance could be applied to isolate valence from the arousal dimension, facilitating a novel access to the neural representation of negative emotion.

Investigating emotion with music: An fMRI study

In all of the mentioned structures, except the hippocampus, activations increased over time during the presentation of the musical stimuli, indicating that the effects of emotion processing have temporal dynamics; the temporal dynamics have so far mainly been neglected in the functional imaging literature.

Musical Emotion and Its Neural Basis

Functional neuroimaging studies show that musical emotion can modulate activity in virtually all limbic and paralimbic brain structures, hypothalamus, insula, anterior cingulate cortex, hippocampus and prefrontal cortex, espe- cially orbitofrontal cortex, nucleus accumbens and amygdale.

A Neuroscientific Perspective on Music Therapy

  • S. Koelsch
  • Psychology
    Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
  • 2009
An overview of factors contributing to the effects of music‐therapeutic work is given, and neuroscientific studies using music to investigate emotion, perception‐action mediation, and social cognition are reviewed, including illustrations of the relevance of these domains for music therapy.

Inferior Frontal Gyrus Activation Underlies the Perception of Emotions, While Precuneus Activation Underlies the Feeling of Emotions during Music Listening

  • K. Tabei
  • Psychology, Biology
    Behavioural neurology
  • 2015
The findings reveal that the bilateral inferior frontal gyri and the precuneus are important areas for the perception of the emotional content of music as well as for the emotional response evoked in the listener.

Tension-related activity in the orbitofrontal cortex and amygdala: an fMRI study with music.

This is the first neuroimaging study investigating the time-varying changes of the emotional experience of musical tension, revealing brain activity in key areas of affective processing.



Emotional responses to pleasant and unpleasant music correlate with activity in paralimbic brain regions

The findings suggest that music may recruit neural mechanisms similar to those previously associated with pleasant/unpleasant emotional states, but different from those underlying other components of music perception, and other emotions such as fear.

Functional anatomy of musical perception in musicians

Intensely pleasurable responses to music correlate with activity in brain regions implicated in reward and emotion

  • A. BloodR. Zatorre
  • Psychology, Biology
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 2001
This finding links music with biologically relevant, survival-related stimuli via their common recruitment of brain circuitry involved in pleasure and reward.

Neural Correlates of Timbre Change in Harmonic Sounds

The results indicate that both the left and right hemispheres are involved in timbre processing, challenging the conventional notion that the elementary attributes of musical perception are predominantly lateralized to the right hemisphere.

The brain basis of piano performance

Bach Speaks: A Cortical “Language-Network” Serves the Processing of Music

The present fMRI-data reveal that the human brain employs this neuronal network also for the processing of musical information, suggesting that the cortical network known to support language processing is less domain-specific than previously believed.

When that tune runs through your head: a PET investigation of auditory imagery for familiar melodies.

It is concluded that areas of right auditory association cortex, together with right and left frontal cortices, are implicated in imagery for familiar tunes, in accord with previous behavioral, lesion and PET data.

Cortical deafness to dissonance.

The findings suggest that dissonance may be computed bilaterally in the superior temporal gyri by specialized mechanisms prior to its emotional interpretation.

The song system of the human brain.

Processing Words with Emotional Connotation: An fMRI Study of Time Course and Laterality in Rostral Frontal and Retrosplenial Cortices

The present findings localize specific areas in the brain that are involved in processing emotional meaning of words within the brain's distributed semantic system and reveals diverging mechanisms in anterior and posterior cortical areas during processing of words with emotional significance.