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Research seminar: Dr Jonna Vuoskoski 'Moved by music: The role of empathy in music-induced emotions'

Friday 27 April 2018, 2.00PM

Speaker(s): Dr Jonna Vuoskoski (University of Oslo)

Music is imbued with connotations of human emotional expression on multiple levels. Although it is likely that music utilises multiple different psychological mechanisms in the induction of emotional responses, one compelling account suggests that we might sometimes respond to music as we would to the observed experiences of another person — with empathy. Furthermore, I will argue that the experience we commonly label ‘being moved’ (often experienced in significant life events and in the context of music and other arts) is an inherently social emotion with prosocial functions – even when evoked by music. In my talk, I will introduce the basic premise and outline the evidence for this account, and present recent findings from my own empirical work. 

Dr Jonna Vuoskoski's position is shared 50/50 between the departments of Musicology and Psychology. Her research and teaching reflect this interdisciplinary setting, focusing on aspects of music cognition and music psychology. Dr Jonna's research interests include the social and embodied cognition of music, and music and emotions. She received her doctorate in 2012 from the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, where she was affiliated with the Finnish Centre of Excellence in Interdisciplinary Music Research. Her doctoral research investigated individual differences in music-induced emotions. From 2012 to 2017, she was a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Oxford (Faculty of Music), working together with Prof. Eric Clarke (Faculty of Music) and Prof. Charles Spence (Department of Experimental Psychology). During her time in Oxford, Dr Vuoskoski carried out two research projects that investigated multimodal perception in the context of musical performance, and the role of empathy in musical engagement. From 2014 to 2017 she was also involved in a research project based at the University of Jyväskylä (coordinated by Prof. Tuomas Eerola, Durham University) exploring the paradoxical enjoyment of music-induced sadness. 

Location: Music Research Centre, Rymer Auditorium