Emotional experience in music fosters 18-month-olds' emotion-action understanding: A training study

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Abstract

We examine whether emotional experiences induced via music-making promote infants’ use of emotional cues to predict others’action. Fifteen-month-olds were randomly assigned to participate in interactive emotion training either with or without musicalengagement for three months. Both groups were then re-tested with two violation-of-expectation paradigms respectivelyassessing their sensitivity to some expressive features in m usic and understanding of the link between emotion and behaviour insimple action sequences. The infants who had participated in m usic, but not those who had not, were surprised by music–faceinconsistent displays and were able to interpret an agent’s action as guided by her expressed emotion. The findings suggest aprivileged role of musical experience in prompting infants to form emotional representations, which support their understandingof the association between affective states and action. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)933-946
JournalDevelopmental Science
Volume19
Issue number6
Early online date09 Sep 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2016

Citation

Siu, T.-S. C., & Cheung, H. (2015). Emotional experience in music fosters 18-month-olds' emotion-action understanding: A training study. Developmental Science, 19(6), 933-946. doi: 10.1111/desc.12348

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