Composing Music to Shape Mind-Wandering Episodes
Have you ever thought about the possibility of composing music that can influence the way we think?
I have recently addressed this question with the help of a group of musicians. Our recent study on the influence of sad and happy music on mind-wandering and default mode network turned into an exciting, collaborative project with Disquiet – an online music community. Each Thursday in the Disquiet community, a new compositional challenge is set before the group’s members, who then have just over four days to upload a track in response to the assignment. I asked musicians to work on two tasks: The first was to compose a short piece of music that decreases our mind’s tendency to wander, while the second to compose a music piece that enhances mind-wandering episodes. The rationale was to use musical/acoustic features that convey and evoke happiness and sadness in the listener, since in our study we demonstrate that happy music is associated with lower mind-wandering levels, while sad music with higher levels (shown both behaviorally and with neuroimaging methods).
Curious about the results of this “experiment”?
This collaboration with Disquiet is an exciting example of one possible way in which research can transform into art!