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Language, Music, and the BrainA Mysterious Relationship$
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Michael A. Arbib

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780262018104

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262018104.001.0001

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Semantics of Internal and External Worlds

Semantics of Internal and External Worlds

(p.203) 8 Semantics of Internal and External Worlds
Language, Music, and the Brain

Uwe Seifert

Paul F. M. J. Verschure

Michael A. Arbib

Annabel J. Cohen

Leonardo Fogassi

Thomas Fritz

Gina Kuperberg

Jônatas Manzolli

Nikki Rickard

The MIT Press

This chapter analyzes the similarities and differences of meaning in language and music, with a special focus on the neural underpinning of meaning. In particular, factors (e.g., emotion) that are internal to an agent are differentiated from factors that arise from the interaction with the external environment and other agents (e.g., sociality and discourse). This “world axis” (from internal to external worlds) is complemented by three other axes: the “affective–propositional axis,” the “sensorimotor–symbolic axis,” and the “structure axis” (from small- to large-scale structure). Common structure–function relationships in music and language and their neuronal substrate are addressed, with emphasis on expectation and prediction. A special focus has been put on how the factors discourse or narrative relate to emotion and appraisal. Neurocinematics is studied for its focus on large-scale structure where music and language strongly interact. Published in the Strungmann Forum Reports Series.

Keywords:   neural foundations of meaning, neural foundations of music, neural foundations of language, emotion, neurocinematics

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