More than Tunes in Your Head: Dynamic Aspects of Auditory Imagery for Music

Document Type

Bucknell Film

Publication Date

Fall 2011




Auditory imagery is more than just mental “replaying” of tunes in one’s head. I will review several studies that capture characteristics of complex and active imagery tasks, using both behavioral and neuroscience approaches. I use behavioral methods to capture people’s ability to make emotion judgments about both heard and imagined music in real time. My neuroimaging studies look at the neural correlates of encoding an imagined melody, anticipating an upcoming tune, and also imagining tunes backwards. Several studies show voxel-by-voxel correlates of neural activity with self-report of imagery vividness. These studies speak to the ways in which musical imagery allows us not just to remember music, but also how we use those memories to judge temporally changing aspects of the musical experience.

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