Towards a Neurobiology of Musical Emotions
This chapter presents current knowledge about musical emotions from a neuropsychological perspective. In doing so, it adopts a biological perspective. Music, and a fortiori musical emotions, are generally not regarded as biological functions. Rather, music-related functions are considered as a refined product of human culture. Over the last decade, however, research has yielded a considerable amount of data which has suggested that music might be part of human nature. The study of musical emotions plays a crucial role in this biological perspective. Indeed, musical emotions are inherent to experiences of music and may account for its ubiquity. Accordingly, understanding the biological origin of musical emotions may shed light on the biological roots of music processing more generally. The chapter examines the extent to which musical emotions might be biologically determined. Since the evidence points to biological foundations of musical emotions, it considers the possibility that music is particularly suited (or designed) to invade emotion circuits that have evolved for emotional vocalizations.
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