The two studies were conducted by a team from the Psychology Department of Milano-Bicocca, coordinated by Alice Mado Proverbio and published in iScience and on the"European Journal of Neuroscience. It has been the answer bioelectric spontaneous brain, combined with anatomical images of the resonance of the Montreal Neurological Institute, via 128 wired sensors placed on the scalp of 60 university students (males and females). And 32 other students have assessed the emotional component of the stimulus, defining the valence-either positive or negative. In total were 92 participants in the project, which lasted more than 2 years.
The stimuli were verbal, vocal or musical, to a note. There were 200 utterances verbal with emotional valence (for example, 'All despise me', 'Absolutely fantastic!'), as well as 25 sentences to neutral containing a name, all pronounced by professional speakers. Also have been proposed in the 64 audio files of vocalisations spontaneous of men and women, adults and children (squeals of delight, cries of surprise or fear, laughter, weeping, wailing, sadness). Is the voices that the words were then transformed digitally into melodies performed on the violin or the viola/cello, the proposals in the headphones. It was found that the participants were able to recognize the emotional nuances, distinguishing them into negative and positive, for the vocalizations between 150 and 250 milliseconds (ms) after the beginning of the issue, towards the 350 ms for the verbal language, and, starting from 450 ms for instrumental music. From this moment, the brain was answers bioelectrical similar for the three types of signal (voice, music, and language) in the understanding of their emotional meaning.
From the analysis of the generators of the brain - continues the note - it has emerged that only the music you enabled the area parahippocampal right, the limbic lobe and the cingulate cortex right; only for the vocalizations of the cortex superior temporal left BA39; only to verbal language, temporal cortex upper left BA42/BA39. The common areas, regardless of the type of sounds, were active in understanding the emotional nature were to negative stimuli, the temporal gyrus, the medial right hemisphere, for positive the the inferior frontal cortex. The notation obtained by transforming the acoustic signals into musical notes showed how the sounds emotionally negative, tend to be in a minor key, or to contain more dissonance than positive.
"These data," comments Mado Proverb - show how the brain is able to extract and understand the emotional nuances of sounds through neural populations specialized cortex in the frontal/temporal, and dedicated to understand the content prosodico and affective of vocalizations and human language. This explains the relative universality of certain innate reactions to the music, which ignore the age and culture of the listener".
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