The combined interactions of mode and tempo on emotional responses to music were investigated using both self-reports and electroencephalogram (EEG) activity. A musical excerpt was performed in three different modes and tempi. Participants rated the emotional content of the resulting nine stimuli and their EEG activity was recorded. Musical modes influence the valence of emotion with major mode being evaluated happier and more serene, than minor and locrian modes. In EEG frontal activity, major mode was associated with an increased alpha activation in the left hemisphere compared to minor and locrian modes, which, in turn, induced increased activation in the right hemisphere. The tempo modulates the arousal value of emotion with faster tempi associated with stronger feeling of happiness and anger and this effect is associated in EEG with an increase of frontal activation in the left hemisphere. By contrast, slow tempo induced decreased frontal activation in the left hemisphere. Some interactive effects were found between mode and tempo: An increase of tempo modulated the emotion differently depending on the mode of the piece.
- EEG asymmetry
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology