Research Topic

The Effects of Music on Cognition and Action

About this Research Topic

In the frame of the cognitive psychology of music, the ways in which the “Musical Mind” interacts with general cognitive processing has been a matter of scientific interest for many years. This field of research is inherently multidimensional. While some lines of research focus on the relationship between ...

In the frame of the cognitive psychology of music, the ways in which the “Musical Mind” interacts with general cognitive processing has been a matter of scientific interest for many years. This field of research is inherently multidimensional. While some lines of research focus on the relationship between music-related abilities and other domain-specific ones –such as language, spatial cognition or mathematics-, other studies investigate the hypothesis that music, either as education and expertise, or simply as simultaneous processing during other cognitive activities, could enhance domain-general abilities –such as attention, memory, intelligence, and emotion. Although many studies focus on the effects of music training, the investigation of how musical aptitude and giftedness can influence cognition and action is less frequent.

The influence of the three modalities of expression of the “Musical Mind” that determine the musical behavior –music perception, music production, and music composition- has been investigated concentrating on the effects of listening to music, of musical expertise and of musical practice. Some studies collected evidence in support of a causal role of music in influencing other domains, while others focused on correlational relationships. Additionally, considering the broad range and the differential nature of music associations with non-musical cognition, some studies analyzed the role of music during the evolution of the human mind, investigating how music impacts the human cognition. In this frame, intercultural comparisons have occasionally been performed.

As the scientific understanding of the effects of music processing on perception, cognition, and action is in continuous evolution, this Research Topic article collection aims to attract the most recent advancements in the field of music effects on non-musical human behavior and information processing. We welcome contributions not only to experimental works performed with neurophysiological, neuroimaging, and behavioral methods, but also to review and theoretical contributions which aim at highlighting the association between musical cognition, non-musical information processing, and behavior. Music influence is intended here in its multifaceted aspects, including both the long-lasting effects of music expertise, training, musical aptitude and giftedness and the short-term effects of music listening and music behavior.

Areas covered by this Research Topic are:

• The links between musical cognition and domain-general cognitive skills like intelligence, executive functions, attention and memory
• The influence of music on emotional control, personality, and social interactions are expected too
• The relationship between music and specific cognitive domains like language, mathematics, problem-solving, spatial cognition, other sensory perception, and action, both in the healthy population and in subjects with psychopathological and neurological conditions, as well as intercultural studies.


Keywords: Transfer of Skills, Music training, Music Talent, Music Cognition, Expertise


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

30 June 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

30 June 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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