Emotional intelligence, not music training, predicts recognition of emotional speech prosody.Emotion. 2008 Dec; 8(6):838-49.E
Is music training associated with greater sensitivity to emotional prosody in speech? University undergraduates (n = 100) were asked to identify the emotion conveyed in both semantically neutral utterances and melodic analogues that preserved the fundamental frequency contour and intensity pattern of the utterances. Utterances were expressed in four basic emotional tones (anger, fear, joy, sadness) and in a neutral condition. Participants also completed an extended questionnaire about music education and activities, and a battery of tests to assess emotional intelligence, musical perception and memory, and fluid intelligence. Emotional intelligence, not music training or music perception abilities, successfully predicted identification of intended emotion in speech and melodic analogues. The ability to recognize cues of emotion accurately and efficiently across domains may reflect the operation of a cross-modal processor that does not rely on gains of perceptual sensitivity such as those related to music training.