Sensation and Perception to Awareness: Leverhulme Doctoral Scholarship Programme

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From surprise to curiosity during music listening

Wednesday 20 May 13:00 until 14:00
Pevensey 1A6
Speaker: Dr. Diana Omigie
Part of the series: Leverhulme Seminar Series

Information seeking may be defined as the motivation to seek and explore information in the environment. The availability of computational tools that allow the information theoretic properties of musical events to be objectively quantified makes music an optimal testbed for studying this important drive. In my talk, I will present studies in which we used depth-electrode intracranial recordings to examine the cortical and subcortical correlates of music-induced surprise and uncertainty. Next, I will present a range of new studies that, using computational modelling of music, provides evidence of music’s ability to induce curiosity as a function of the idiosyncrasies of its unfolding structure. Finally, I will provide preliminary evidence that the different profiles of trait curiosity that individuals present with influence how they engage with music over time. Several theories suggest a role of curiosity and interest in the aesthetic response, but the potential of musical stimuli to throw light on these epistemic emotions have not yet been fully exploited. I will close with recommendations as to how musical stimuli might be useful in addressing important open questions in the cognitive neurosciences of information seeking.

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By: Samuel Bilbow
Last updated: Thursday, 13 February 2020

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