Music Cognition

A shortened version of this article will appear in the next Psychology in Action Newsletter.

One of the most fascinating and quickly growing subareas of psychology and the cognitive sciences is music cognition, the interdisciplinary study of how the brain processes and perceives music.  Music cognition is driven primarily by the perception of tempo and pitch, as well as the important concept of expectation. Continue reading


I got chills, they’re multiplying

Many of us have experienced chills when listening to music, those weird, almost indescribable sensations sometimes likened to shivers down the spine. If you’re very meta, the line serving as this post’s title might even do it for you (but probably not—chills don’t tend to occur until later on in a song).

Despite our inability to describe chills in words, they are surprisingly easy to identify with the aid of neuroimaging. In a Nature Neuroscience study out this month, researchers at McGill with a history of interest in the topic take typical imaging work on music and chills one step further and describe not only the patterns of neural activation but also their time course.
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