par Demoulin, Catherine ;Bertels, Julie ;Kolinsky, Régine
Référence Consortium of European Research on Emotion (CERE) (May 2012: Canterbury, Great Britain)
Publication Non publié, 2012
Communication à un colloque
Résumé : More than any other forms of art, music seems able to induce very promptly strong emotional reactions in the listener. Thus, music could be a valuable tool to investigate the relationship between emotion and attention. Some authors attribute to music important adaptive functions of social cohesion and communication; in this perspective, “musical emotions” could elicit attentional biases similar to those elicited by biologically relevant emotional stimuli (e.g., snake, face, prosody). The objective of the present study was thus to investigate the potential influence of emotions conveyed by music on spatial attention. Using a cross-modal emotional cueing task, we examined how specific emotions expressed in short melodies unknown to participants and used as cues modulate spatial attentional engagement. Results revealed a modulation of covert attention by musical emotions. Specifically, we found validity effects with sad and peaceful music, and an overall slowdown effect on responses times with threatening melodies. We propose that harmonious music (with slow and regular tempo) might quickly induce an emotional state favorable to the spontaneous maintenance of attention in direction of the musical source, whereas threatening music might put the body in a state of alert, looking for the occurrence of an imminent danger, at the expense of the effective realization of the task. Finally, response times to valid and invalid happy trials were similar, suggesting that attention was focused neither toward the musical source, nor in its opposite direction, but rather distributed: happy music might thus lead to an opening of the attentional field.