Music and mirror neurons: from motion to 'e'motion

Istvan Molnar-Szakacs, Katie Overy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The ability to create and enjoy music is a universal human trait and plays an important role in the daily life of most cultures. Music has a unique ability to trigger memories, awaken emotions and to intensify our social experiences. We do not need to be trained in music performance or appreciation to be able to reap its benefits-already as infants, we relate to it spontaneously and effortlessly. There has been a recent surge in neuroimaging investigations of the neural basis of musical experience, but the way in which the abstract shapes and patterns of musical sound can have such profound meaning to us remains elusive. Here we review recent neuroimaging evidence and suggest that music, like language, involves an intimate coupling between the perception and production of hierarchically organized sequential information, the structure of which has the ability to communicate meaning and emotion. We propose that these aspects of musical experience may be mediated by the human mirror neuron system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-41
Number of pages7
JournalSocial Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Volume1
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Music and mirror neurons: from motion to 'e'motion'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this