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date: 23 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter provides an overview of research at the intersection of music and cognitive functions. Music, an intrinsically creative art form, requires bottom-up and top-down perceptual processing, attention, and integration of executive functions. Literature on music and attention spans debates on selection theories, and the role of temporal attention and neuronal entrainment. Attention is a subset of executive functioning, goal-directed processes including conflict monitoring, task switching, and working memory. Considerable research has addressed the effects of musical training on executive functions, with contrasting reports of success in far transfer. Finally, contrary to goal-directed processes, creativity entails unconstrained thought processes that yield novel output. Perhaps due to the unrestricted nature of both music and creativity, the relevant research has also been variable. Considering these seemingly disparate aspects of cognitive function in tandem can inspire new and interesting research questions, promoting a more cohesive conceptualization of music within cognitive science more generally.

Keywords: attention, executive function, creativity, music, cognitive science

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