Interaction between musical emotion and facial expression as measured by event-related potentials.Neuropsychologia. 2013 Feb; 51(3):500-5.N
We examined the integrative process between emotional facial expressions and musical excerpts by using an affective priming paradigm. Happy or sad musical stimuli were presented after happy or sad facial images during electroencephalography (EEG) recordings. We asked participants to judge the affective congruency of the presented face-music pairs. The congruency of emotionally congruent pairs was judged more rapidly than that of incongruent pairs. In addition, the EEG data showed that incongruent musical targets elicited a larger N400 component than congruent pairs. Furthermore, these effects occurred in nonmusicians as well as musicians. In sum, emotional integrative processing of face-music pairs was facilitated in congruent music targets and inhibited in incongruent music targets; this process was not significantly modulated by individual musical experience. This is the first study on musical stimuli primed by facial expressions to demonstrate that the N400 component reflects the affective priming effect.