Instrumental Music Influences Recognition of Emotional Body Language

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Instrumental Music Influences Recognition of Emotional Body Language

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Title: Instrumental Music Influences Recognition of Emotional Body Language
Author: Van den Stock, Jan; Peretz, Isabelle; Grèzes, Julie; de Gelder, Beatrice M.L.

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Citation: Van den Stock, Jan, Isabelle Peretz, Julie Grèzes, and Beatrice de Gelder. 2009. Instrumental music influences recognition of emotional body language. Brain Topography 21(3-4): 216-220.
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Abstract: In everyday life, emotional events are perceived by multiple sensory systems. Research has shown that recognition of emotions in one modality is biased towards the emotion expressed in a simultaneously presented but task irrelevant modality. In the present study, we combine visual and auditory stimuli that convey similar affective meaning but have a low probability of co-occurrence in everyday life. Dynamic face-blurred whole body expressions of a person grasping an object while expressing happiness or sadness are presented in combination with fragments of happy or sad instrumental classical music. Participants were instructed to categorize the emotion expressed by the visual stimulus. The results show that recognition of body language is influenced by the auditory stimuli. These findings indicate that crossmodal influences as previously observed for audiovisual speech can also be obtained from the ignored auditory to the attended visual modality in audiovisual stimuli that consist of whole bodies and music.
Published Version: doi://10.1007/s10548-009-0099-0
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