Pleasurable emotional response to music: A case of neurodegenerative generalized auditory agnosia

Brandy Matthews, Chiung Chih Chang, Mary de May, John Engstrom, Bruce L. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Recent functional neuroimaging studies implicate the network of mesolimbic structures known to be active in reward processing as the neural substrate of pleasure associated with listening to music. Psychoacoustic and lesion studies suggest that there is a widely distributed cortical network involved in processing discreet musical variables. Here we present the case of a young man with auditory agnosia as the consequence of cortical neurodegeneration who continues to experience pleasure when exposed to music. In a series of musical tasks, the subject was unable to accurately identify any of the perceptual components of music beyond simple pitch discrimination, including musical variables known to impact the perception of affect. The subject subsequently misidentified the musical character of personally familiar tunes presented experimentally, but continued to report that the activity of 'listening' to specific musical genres was an emotionally rewarding experience. The implications of this case for the evolving understanding of music perception, music misperception, music memory, and music-associated emotion are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)248-259
Number of pages12
JournalNeurocase
Volume15
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2009

Fingerprint

Agnosia
Music
Pleasure
Pitch Discrimination
Psychoacoustics
Functional Neuroimaging
Emotional Response
Auditory Agnosia
Reward
Emotions

Keywords

  • Auditory agnosia
  • Emotion
  • Music
  • Musical hallucinations
  • Neurodegeneration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

Cite this

Pleasurable emotional response to music : A case of neurodegenerative generalized auditory agnosia. / Matthews, Brandy; Chang, Chiung Chih; de May, Mary; Engstrom, John; Miller, Bruce L.

In: Neurocase, Vol. 15, No. 3, 06.2009, p. 248-259.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Matthews, Brandy ; Chang, Chiung Chih ; de May, Mary ; Engstrom, John ; Miller, Bruce L. / Pleasurable emotional response to music : A case of neurodegenerative generalized auditory agnosia. In: Neurocase. 2009 ; Vol. 15, No. 3. pp. 248-259.
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