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Impaired emotional processing of chords in congenital amusia: electrophysiological and behavioral evidence

Zhou, L., Liu, F., Jiang, J. and Jiang, C. (2019) Impaired emotional processing of chords in congenital amusia: electrophysiological and behavioral evidence. Brain and Cognition, 135. 103577. ISSN 0278-2626

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.bandc.2019.06.001

Abstract/Summary

This study investigated whether individuals with congenital amusia, a neurogenetic disorder of musical pitch perception, were able to process musical emotions in single chords either automatically or consciously. In Experiments 1 and 2, we used a cross-modal affective priming paradigm to elicit automatic emotional processing through ERPs, in which target facial expressions were preceded by either affectively congruent or incongruent chords with a stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA) of 200 msec. Results revealed automatic emotional processing of major/minor triads (Experiment 1) and consonant/dissonant chords (Experiment 2) in controls, who showed longer reaction times and increased N400 for incongruent than congruent trials, while amusics failed to exhibit such a priming effect at both behavioral and electrophysiological levels. In Experiment 3, we further examined conscious emotional evaluation of the same chords in amusia. Results showed that amusics were unable to consciously differentiate the emotions conveyed by major and minor chords and by consonant and dissonant chords, as compared with controls. These findings suggest the impairment in automatic and conscious emotional processing of music in amusia. The implications of these findings in relation to musical emotional processing are discussed.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorders) Research Network
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Language and Cognition
ID Code:84091
Publisher:Elsevier

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