Emotional lingering: facial expressions of musical closure

William Forde Thompson, Rachel Bennetts, Bojan Neskovic, Caroline Palmer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionResearchpeer-review


We report evidence that singers maintain emotional facial expressions after vocalization has terminated, introducing a form of emotional lingering. Emotional lingering extends and complements acoustic signals of emotion, providing a visual signal of musical closure. We first describe evidence from production studies that emotional facial expressions continue beyond the acoustic dimension of music. We next describe evidence that perceivers are sensitive to facial expressions that occur beyond the production of sound, and that such signals carry reliable emotional information. We note that audiovisual experiences of music are compatible with current understandings of multisensory integration in the central nervous system. As such, investigations of performance should include consideration of facial expressions and other performance gestures.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Interntional Symposium on Performance Science 2009
EditorsAaron Williamon, Sharman Pretty, Ralph Buck
Place of PublicationUtrecht
PublisherEuropean Association of Conservatoires (AEC)
ISBN (Print)9789490306014
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


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