Neurophysiological Investigation of Context Modulation based on Musical Stimulus

Siddharth Mehrotra, Anuj Shukla, Dipanjan Roy

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There are numerous studies which suggest that perhaps music is truly the language of emotions. Music seems to have an almost willful, evasive quality, defying simple explanation, and indeed requires deeper neurophysiological investigations to gain a better understanding. The current study makes an attempt in that direction to explore the effect of context on music perception. To investigate the same, we measured Galvanic Skin Responses (GSR) and self-reported emotion on 18 participants while listening to different Ragas (musical stimulus) composed of different Rasa's (emotional expression) in the different context (Neutral, Pleasant, and Unpleasant). The IAPS pictures were used to induce the emotional context in participants. Our results from this study suggest that the context can modulate emotional response in music perception but only for a shorter time scale. Interestingly, here we demonstrate by combining GSR and self-reports that this effect gradually vanishes over time and shows emotional adaptation irrespective of context. The overall findings suggest that specific context effects of music perception are transitory in nature and gets saturated on a longer time scale.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Conference On Music Perception And Cognition
Place of PublicationSan Francisco, USA
PublisherSociety for Music Perception and Cognition
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)1-876346-65-5
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Music
  • Perception
  • Cognition
  • GSR


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