Understanding musical meaning

Emotions are an undeniable part of the musical experience. How do early affective responses to music set the stage for emotion recognition? And how do we come to harness music to self-regulate in the face of stressors?

What does it mean to be musical?

Most adults can easily detect “wrong” notes and clap in time to music, even in the absence of music training. Where does musicality come from? What affects the trajectory of musicality, musical talent, and musical enjoyment across childhood?

Musical experiences “in the wild”

Some of our most powerful musical experiences are those we share with others. In a series of experiments, we are investigating children’s behavioral, physiological, affective, and motor responses to music in the community and their homes.

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