Dynamic Neural and Emotional Responses to Music


Animation of the real-time changes in neural activity that were time-locked to the tempo fluctuations in a musical performance of Frédéric Chopin’s Etude in E major, Op.10, No. 3. This animation includes a subset of the brain regions that exhibited time-locked activity. Shown are cortical and subcortical motor areas thought to be involved in pulse perception, and a network of areas consistent with the human ‘mirror neuron’ system. The specific brain regions are: Top left 2D rendering (top to bottom): right anterior cingulate, right basal ganglia (lentiform nucleus/putamen). Top middle 3D rendering (clockwise from top): bilateral supplementary motor area (SMA), primary motor cortex, left BA 44, right anterior cingulate. Bottom left 3D rendering (right hemisphere; moving counterclockwise from top): SMA and primary motor cortex, inferior parietal lobe BA 40, superior temporal sulcus, insula, ventral premotor cortex. Bottom right 3D rendering (left hemisphere, clockwise from top): SMA, primary motor cortex, BA 44, insula. Mean correlations (across listeners) were animated by weighting the tempo curve according to regional peak t-scores and projecting the result onto the corresponding brain areas.

Reference: Chapin, H., Jantzen, K. J., Kelso, J. A. S., Steinberg, F. & Large, E. W. (2010). Dynamic emotional and neural responses to music depend on performance expression and listener experience. PLoS ONE 5(12), e13812.