The subjective experience of music across cultures can be mapped within at least 13 overarching feelings: Amusement, joy, eroticism, beauty, relaxation, sadness, dreaminess, triumph, anxiety, scariness, annoyance, defiance, and feeling pumped up. “Imagine organizing a massively eclectic music library by emotion and capturing the combination of feelings associated with each track. That’s essentially what our… Read more

Inside a stuffy, overcrowded, and overheated room, a group of 40 people are dancing, sweating and breathing heavily, moaning and crying. They have been dancing nonstop for the better part of three days, carrying heavy icons of their saints. Occasionally they collapse on the floor, only to resume dancing after regaining their senses. At the… Read more

People who are accustomed to listening to Western music, which is based on a system of notes organized in octaves, can usually perceive the similarity between notes that are same but played in different registers — say, high C and middle C. However, a longstanding question is whether this a universal phenomenon or one that… Read more

People from all cultures and continents are mostly able to spot the difference between a fake laugh and a real one, according to a new study. For almost a decade, UCLA communication researcher Greg Bryant has studied the nature of laughter — and what it reveals about the evolution of human communication and cooperation. His… Read more

The academic discipline of psychology was developed largely in North America and Europe. Some would argue it’s been remarkably successful in understanding what drives human behaviour and mental processes, which have long been thought to be universal. But in recent decades some researchers have started questioning this approach, arguing that many psychological phenomena are shaped… Read more