University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > CMS seminar series in the Faculty of Music > From surprise to curiosity during music listening

From surprise to curiosity during music listening

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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 thus makes music an optimal testbed for studying this important drive. In my talk, I will present studies in which we have 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 studies that, using computational modelling, 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 patterns of curiosity that individuals possess 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 had not yet been 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.

This talk is part of the CMS seminar series in the Faculty of Music series.

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