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They were then seated, facing a monitor. Audio stimuli were presented through stereo speakers and visual stimuli on a PC monitor. All the tasks and instructions were provided through e-Prime 2. EEG-data were collected using ActiView lab software. The experiment comprised eight blocks that contained sec presentations of each stimulus type; within each block the order of stimulus presentation was randomized. Each stimulus type was evaluated eight times during the experiment. The statistical analysis of the questionnaire data focused on main effects and interactions of the main variables.
An overall view on how the particular emotions were rated throughout different conditions was first summarized by mean values. The lowest-scoring emotions eroticism, spirituality, curiosity were omitted from further analyses, except sadness, which is in the scope of interest of this study.
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The emotions relaxation mean 3. A three-way MANOVA was then performed separately for each emotion to explore their main effects and interactions between mechanism, modality, and stimulus valence. EEG-data were analysed to verify the effect of induction mechanism on distinct conditions. Self-evaluations of stimulus valence during the EEG ratings were compared by the original ratings and means per factor between modalities and stimulus types.
All two- and three-way interactions with emotion were significant, and thereby constituted grounds for exploring the results separately over singular emotions. In the following sections emotions are presented in groups labeled as positive joy, strength, relaxation , social kinship, tenderness , and negative sadness, melancholia emotions. The thematic division is based on theoretical consideration of the functional roles of the emotions, for instance, social emotions relates to social connectedness and belonging 37 , 38 , 39 , 40 , The division was further supported by observations of similarities in how the interactions were distributed in the data.
Joy was experienced more to music than to pictures, more through memory than stimulus features, and more to pleasan t than unpleasant stimuli. Strength was experienced stronger when evoked by music, and more typically when related to positively valenced stimuli. Significant interactions were not found. Mean ratings for positive emotions across modality, valence, and mechanism are depicted in Fig. Mean ratings for social emotions across modality, valence, and mechanism are depicted in Fig.
The experience of sadness was generally more prevalent when evoked by pictorial stimuli, and when induced by memories rather than stimulus features. Negative stimuli compounded the occurrence of sadness. In contrast to sadness, melancholy was experienced more typically in the context of pleasant stimuli. Similar to sadness, memory was more effective than stimulus features in inducing melancholia. In contrast, for music, the effect of memory was clear only in the context of unpleasant stimuli.
It thus appeared that the role of memory in inducing melancholia was particularly pronounced in unpleasant musical stimuli. Mean ratings for negative emotions across modality, valence, and mechanism are depicted in Fig.
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The EEG data were utilized to substantiate the effects of emotion induction mechanisms observed in self-evaluations. A repeated-measures ANOVA was executed to examine the possible interactions between Modality, Valence, and Mechanism in the theta oscillations from frontal midline electrodes. In addition, the effects on laterality left vs.
No significant main effect of valence nor interactions were observed Fig. To further explore the laterality effect of valence, we ran separate analyses comparing F3-F4 and F7-F8 electrode pairs instead of pooled left vs. Elevated levels of alpha activity might be specifically linked to lateralisation in specific frontal brain locations during pleasant music. The number of eye blinks remained similar throughout distinct conditions.
In terms of the number of eye blinks, no differences were found between music and pictures suggesting that pleasant music may, indeed, cause relaxation.
This study investigated how affective experiences to pleasant and unpleasant music and pictures vary if induced by personal memories or stimulus features. We particularly tested whether memory, in comparison to stimulus features, would play a major role in inducing different types of emotions positive, negative, social , and whether this impact of memory would be similar in the case of both music and pictures, and pleasant and unpleasant stimuli. Confirming our hypothesis concerning the prevalence of memory as an induction mechanism, the results showed that the role of memory indeed is indeed central in inducing emotional experiences: stimuli chosen based on memories were more inductive of joy, kinship, tenderness, sadness , and melancholia than stimuli chosen based on the stimulus features.
Only relaxation and strength did not show a main effect of mechanism.
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Overall, it can be concluded that memory plays an important role in the induction of all types of emotions, but this effect seems to be even more pervasive for the social and negative emotions in comparison to general positive emotions. Main effects of modality on emotions were not expected, but we did observe that music led to slightly higher ratings of joy and strength, while pictures evoked more sadness than music. Concerning our exploration of the role of memory across the domains, the results generally confirmed that memory is the primary induction mechanism regardless of the stimulus domain.
Yet, some distinct asymmetries related to the domain and emotion induction mechanism could also be observed. The pronounced role of memory as an induction mechanism was generally even more evident in music than in pictures. This could reflect the fact that music engagement is closely linked to everyday life events, as music can serve as the background soundtrack for a range of such events.
Also, our assumption that memories would play a stronger role for inducing negative affects in music than in pictures received some support: for the induction of melancholia and sadness, memory contributed more highly to these emotions in comparison to stimulus features, and this was particularly clear in the case of unpleasant musical stimuli. Interestingly, the stimulus features were more inductive of sadness in the case of pleasant musical stimuli.
The neural measures confirmed the validity of the setting by indicating the presence of memory processing during the memory conditions: Increased theta oscillations that occurred during the memory condition bolster the earlier observations relating theta to memory tasks The low arousal pleasant experiences were demonstrated in neural responses as increased alpha oscillations in the memory condition. For instance, pleasant sadness is associated with social signals and functions of music 75 , and the function of distinct neural areas in contrast to those activated by psychological pain, such as posterior cingulate cortex, cerebellum, and parahippocampal gyrus In future research, however, the study design could capture the effects of observable stimulus features in more detail e.
For further differentiating the types of pleasant and unpleasant experiences based on mechanism and modality, one appealing direction is to alter the conditions to have an effect of the function of particular emotions e. As with all research, the present findings need to be considered in the light of inherent limitations; as participants were exposed to their own choices of music and pictures, it might be argued that it is not the stimulus itself, but the memories associated with it that induced the emotions. More detailed information about the memories could further benefit in the analysis as well.
On the one hand, we did not collect data on how much exposure the participants had to the stimuli beforehand, or whether they just thought about this while rating their emotions for the questionnaire. If the latter is true, such retrospective responses can be biased and unreliable. On the other hand, concurrent exposure Cf. To address this, one could for instance utilise the Fading Affect bias to normalize the effects of memories from the distant past Another option is to ask people to rate the same 4 popular songs and 4 popular pictures and indicate for each whether they have a memory associated with them.
This way all participants are being exposed to the same stimuli and any confounds related to familiarity are minimised. One could also carry out correlational research where one predicts the intensity of emotions from scales expressing familiarity and memorability. In the present study, the relatively small sample size and bias in gender distribution restricts the generalization of the results beyond the current sample. While the exclusion of potential confounding variables certainly improves internal validity, further research with larger and more representative samples is certainly warranted before reaching any general conclusions.
Numerous unanswered questions remain in emotion research, particularly concerning mechanisms in general and the complex, social emotions. The present study took a novel step in investigating the interaction between emotion induction mechanisms, emotional valence, and stimulus modality by combining self-reports and objective measures EEG using self-selected stimuli. Overall, the present findings suggest that future research on complex emotions should consider the role of memories as a crucial element of the investigation.
Deconstructing the central elements of the memories by focussing on familiarity, autobiographical salience, or timeframe of them might be the most effective strategy to pursue this topic e. Another line of research is to explore in more detail the interactive effects of memories and stimulus properties in paradoxical affects such as the simultaneous experience of pleasantness and sadness.
Furthermore, despite the inherent differences in the stimulus properties between images spatial and music temporal , the concurrent use of multiple modalities offers exciting prospects to further our knowledge of affective experiences regardless of the domain. Soto-Faraco, S. Modality-specific auditory and visual temporal processing deficits.
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Quart J of Experim Psychol. Juslin, P. From everyday emotions to aesthetic emotions: Towards a unified theory of musical emotions. Phys Life Rev. Handbook of music and emotion: theory, research, applications. New York: Oxford University Press Russell, J. Affect grid: A singleitem scale of pleasure and arousal. Pers Soc Psychol. Oatley, K. Dacher, K. Understanding Emotions 2 nd ed.
Gross, J. Emoton regulation: taking stock and moving forward. Scherer, K. Emotion theories and concepts in The Oxford companion to emotion and the affective sciences eds Sender, D. Blood, A. Intensely pleasurable responses to music correlate with activity in brain regions implicated in reward and emotion.
Gebauer, L. Ever-changing cycles of musical pleasure: The role of dopamine and anticipation.
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