Your observation bring ups some interesting thoughts....
When you say that you have difficulty with language tasks, do you
notice any difference when you listen to purely instrumental versus
vocal music? I can see the difficulty with listening to vocal music
and still trying to engage in another linguistic task, but not much
with purely instrumental. I personally do not have that difficulty,
but I have "mixed dominance" and have no problem listening to several
auditory tasks at once.
There was research done at Stanford Medical where MRIs were done while
subjects were listening to symphonic music and investigate the neural
dynamics of event segmentation.
Here is the reference:
"Neural Dynamics of Event Segmentation in Music: Converging Evidence
for Dissociable Ventral and Dorsal Networks." Devarajan Sridharan,
Daniel J. Levitin, Chris H. Chafe, Jonathan Berger and Vinod Menon. Neuron
Volume 55, Issue 3, 2 August 2007, Pages 521-532
Harriet B. Jacobster, Au.D.
Board Certified Doctor of Audiology
Rachel M. Theodore wrote:
Dear All ---
I share Professor Repp's concern that personal anecdotes will
interfere with the empirical basis of the original query - so I will
follow my anecdote with a potential framework in which to quantify
emotional experience during musical listening.
As a classical pianist, I too find it quite difficult to engage
in cognitive tasks when music is in the environment. Most notably, I
have difficulty with language tasks including writing - but also
talking and listening (a problem indeed when music is played at
departmental functions). I've often wondered if this interference
stems from the fact that my formal training as a pianist began at the
same time I began formal training in reading - around the age of 5
years. I wish I could remember how I was able to separate learning a
label such as "b" and knowing that it was a symbol not only for a pitch
but also a character in the alphabet. I wonder if the perceptual
phenomena experienced by early bilinguals would hold if the bilingual
in question was fluent in spoken language and in music.
In returning to the original post - I think that Larry Barsalou
at Emory University is doing some neat work on situated
conceptualization - his framework might provide a basis for exploring
the experience of emotion during the perception of music. If
conceptual knowledge is grounded in the brain's modal systems for
perception and action, then we should be able to observe activity
across emotion centers and auditory perception centers when listening
to music "emotionally".
Thank you ---
Rachel M. Theodore
NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein Predoctoral Fellow
Psychology Department - 125 NI
360 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA 02115