Tasting Sounds (02-24-21)

Reinoso-Carvalho and associates link music heard to experiencing specific sorts of tastes. The team found that “chocolate was liked more, rated as sweeter, and the purchase intent was higher, when tasted while listening to music that conveyed positive, as compared to negative, emotion. By contrast, the same chocolate was mostly rated as tasting more bitter with the negative music, as compared to the positive music. . .. .

Acoustic Coordination (01-11-21)

Hou and colleagues studied brain synchronization between musicians and people listening to their music; potential applications of their findings in other contexts are intriguing.  The researchers report that they “used dual near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) to assess whether inter-brain synchronization between violinist and audience underlies the popularity of violin performance. In the experiment, individual audience members . . . watched pre-recorded videos, each lasting 100 s or so, in which a violinist performed 12 musical pieces.

The Science of the Arts

The neuropsychology of viewing visual art and listening to music have been extensively studied and what researchers have learned can be applied to both enrich mental and physical wellbeing (via effects on neuro-processes tied to mood, cognitive performance, etc.) and to support financial arguments for adding art to workplaces, healthcare facilities, and many other locations.

Music Universals (10-26-20)

Researchers have identified cross-cultural consistencies in responses to particular sounds and published their findings in Nature Human Behaviour.  A team affiliated with Harvard’s Music Lab reports that “American infants relaxed when played lullabies that were unfamiliar and in a foreign language. . . . Infants responded to universal elements of songs, despite the unfamiliarity of their melodies and words, and relaxed. . . . In the experiment, each infant watched an animated video of two characters singing either a lullaby or a non-lullaby. . . .


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