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Emotions: How does music affect them?

Maika Arroyo Christopher Santana

What is Emotion?
An emotion is complex.
When most people think of emotions, they think of their feelings. But the feeling component is only an aspect of emotion; Emotions also include a physiological response(heart rate increase, sweating, muscle tension, etc.) brain activity, thoughts, expressions, and other elements. external or internal events and last over a few seconds, minutes, or hours.

Emotions are reactions to

There have been several attempts at defining emotion:

1. William James (1884)- said that emotion was our feeling of
bodily changes when the bodily changes follow directly perception of the exciting fact.

2. Plutchik (1982)- Emotion is an inferred complex sequence of

reactions to a stimulus including cognitive evaluations, subjective changes, autonomic and neural arousal, impulses to action, and behavior designed to have an effect upon the stimulus that initiated the complex sequence

3. Keltner & Shiota (2003)- An emotion is a universal, functional

reaction to an external stimulus event, temporally integrating physiological, cognitive, phenomenological, and behavioral channels to facilitate a fitness-enhancing, environment-shaping response to the current situation.

They all agree on the sense that emotions are and have been

useful in our evolutionary process. Also they agree that every emotion is a reaction to a stimuli. But it has to be external, that is how an emotion is different from a drive. So in conclusion its more beneficial to describe what an emotion should be and make prescriptive judgments. But for it to be considered an emotion it must have the following behavioral components: cognition, feeling, physiological changes, and behavior.

Direct our attention

Why do we have emotions?

Enhance our memory and

how we encode and consolidate different pieces of information.

Organize our behavior and

our orientation towards other people.

Drive and direct social

approach or even social avoidance.

Develop moral and

ethical behavior.

Adaptive or dysregulated

The Anatomy of Emotion

When people have

Emotion and the brain

different emotions, it manifests in the brain circuitry. And specifically, different functional areas. past several decades has been on the emotionrelated brain circuitry in the limbic system which

But the focus over the

is really a distributed set of brain nodes or brain regions that function together to have have the experience of emotions, and maybe even to generate emotion experience.

And to detect whats personally

salient and emotionally significant for us. So this is happening in a distributed brain system.

The amygdala is a very important

node within the limbic system for emotions. It is located in the temporal lobe, and it receives input representing vision, hearing, other senses, and pain, so it is in a position to associate various stimuli with outcomes that follow them.

The limbic system really is made up

of multiple brain areas, including the amygdala, hippocampus, hypothalamus, and other brain regions. And even other paralimbic regions like the orbital frontal cortex.

Structure important for emotional

processed are located in the brain stem and neocortex as well as in between.

Lesion method- which basically is, when you cut out a piece of the brain and see if the behavior of the person changes or goes away.

How to measure emotion

Electoencephalography Measureswhich relies on the electrical charge that neurons generate when they depolarize. Researchers place electrodes on the participants head and measure the electrical potential. This technique allows researchers to detect neural activation happening less than a second after a stimuli. Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging(fMRI)- which is, basically a snapshot of the brain in action. It measures changes in blood oxygen levels in the brain as a way of assessing where neurons have been recently active. subjective emotion experience- when a person is exposed to different emotions through film clips. looking at facial expressions

Emotion Regulation
It consists of strategies we use to control which
emotions we have, when we have them, and how strongly we experience and express them. perspective. To think, to analyze, to use language. All in the service of emotion regulation.

The prefrontal cortex allows us to take

Stages of Emotion Regulation

1. Pre-conscious 2. Immediate attention shift 3. Emotion Appraisal 4. Cognitive Reappraisal 5. Meta-Cognitive Processing

Theories of Emotion

James-Lange Theory

This theory states

that emotions are the labels we give to the way the body reacts to certain situations.

Cannon-Bard Theory
Emotional cognitions
and feelings are causally independent of physiological arousal and behavior, even though these aspects all occur at the same time.

Schachter-Singer Theory
The physiological
arousal that often accompanies emotion is essential for determining how strong the emotional feeling will be, but it does not identify the emotion.

Music on the mind

An art or sound in time that
expresses ideas, emotions in significant forms through the elements of rhythm, melody, harmony and color occurring in either single line (melody) or multiply lines (harmony)

The tones or sounds employed,

Pitch refers to the actual value of the note the
instrument or voice is making

Ex: Do, Re, Mi, Fa, So La, Si, Do...

Tone is the quality or timbre of the sound. Ex: full, piercing, faint, screeching, soothing,

Power of Rhythm

Rhythm: pattern measure of time Stressed or unstressed beats enhance or thwart our perception on seeing things All our systems work under the influence of rhythm Organizes billions of electrical impulses = clear mental pictures Controls the way message is sent along the neurological system; controls perception of things Rhythm can change our mental pictures or way of perceiving things

"Music is so naturally united with us that we cannot be free from it even if we so desired" (Boethius cited by Storr).


What is it?
a clinical and evidence-based use of
music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program

When was it first used?

Ancient societies like
China, Egypt, Greece, Rome used it as healing medium century during WWI & II address traumatic war injuries perception

USA - late 18th

VA hospital to

Alleviating pain

Physiological Effects
Responses to music are easily
detected in the human body

Intensity of volume affects

both sides greatly

Loud, Fast beats of music can

lead to heighten senses, stress, tension, anxiety, irate, even be able to numb out other senses

Soft, Slow beats reduce stress

levels, breathing rate, blood pressure, alleviate pain

Synchronize brain waves & aid

in neural patterns such as walking, running, etc..

Improves motor coordination

Psychological Effects

Functions simultaneously with the physical effects Recall a past event, pleasant or heartbreaking Affect mood, perception of activities,events Improves verbal memory and concentration/ attention Causes distraction from pain or need to take pills Reduce headaches/migraines intensity, duration Enhance learning/intelligence because constant interaction between both hemispheres

Overall Benefits
Promotes Wellness Stress Management Alleviate Pain Express Feelings Enhance Memory Improve Communication Promote Physical Rehabilitation

Autism and Music

Excellent way of interacting
with kids with cognitive/emotional challenges and improve their function ability

Build certain skills, lower

anxiety levels, even develop some language

Social skills, sensory issues,

perceptual/motor skills, selfdetermination

Music seen as a natural

reinforcer for desired responses; motivates/engages child

Simple songs to create a

Music Therapy at Work #1

Memory and Music

Mental system that receives, stores,

organizes, alters and recovers information from sensory input

Music has been proven to be one of

the factors that stimulate different areas of the brain at once and dementia patients

Enhances memory of Alzheimers Cause the patient to recall certain

events in which a specific song was playing, activating long-term memory

Music Therapy at Work #2


Digital Drug
Attempt to achieve perceived
high from listening to specially-engineered music

Binaural Beats - rhythmic

humming sounds that are created by playing 2 simple tones that cause the brain to activate a specific physical stimuli

Specific brainwaves alter

certain glands to produce desired hormones

Boost mood, increase

happiness, visualization craze

Capable of reducing learning

time / sleeping needs

Legal or Illegal?

Future of Music?
Pros: There is an increase of talented young kids
in society today

Music at an early age is an excellent asset for

further development

Music will forever move our emotions Cons: There is a decline in music programs in

Music is being decomposed by technology It is being infested with vulgar language and
explicit messages to society

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I-dosing: How teenagers are getting 'digitally high' from music they download from internet | Mail Online. (n.d.). Home | Mail Online. Retrieved April 24, 2012, from Surprising Effects Of Music. (n.d.). - Reliable Information on Prescription Drugs. Retrieved April 24, 2012, from The Physiological Effects of Music - Yahoo! Voices - (n.d.). Yahoo! Voices - Retrieved April 24, 2012, from