Music is Intimately Connected with Body movements. Until recently, research has almost exclusively examined the impact of music on body movements. Yet findings on embodied cognition in other domains suggest that the influence might also work in the opposite direction: Real or imagined body movements during music listening may codetermine music preferences. We had participants listen to music and concurrently activate muscles whose innervation has been shown to be associated with "positive" and "negative" affect (activation vs. inhibition of smiling muscles, vertical vs. horizontal head movements, and arm flexion vs. arm extension). Activation of the positively associated muscle groups led to higher preference ratings for the music pieces than activation of the negatively associated ones. A first exploration of candidate explanations for the effect suggests that it is most likely due to conditioning processes. It is concluded that body movements, both real and imagined, may play an important role in the development of music preferences.
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