Episode 1: Music Anhedonia and White Matter with Amy Belfi and guest Psyche Loui

Neuroscientist Amy Belfi recommends “White Matter Correlates of Musical Anhedonia: Implications for Evolution of Music” by Loui, Patterson, Sachs, Leung, Zeng, and Przysinda, published in Frontiers in Psychology (2017). Amy and Finn interview Prof. Psyche Loui about this study, its relevance to theories of the evolution of music, and music anhedonia more broadly.

Show notes

  • Recommended article:
    • Loui P, Patterson S, Sachs ME, Leung Y, Zeng T and Przysinda E (2017) White Matter Correlates of Musical Anhedonia: Implications for Evolution of Music. Front. Psychol. 8:1664. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01664
  • Interviewee: Prof. Psyche Loui, Department of Psychology, Program in Neuroscience and Behavior, Wesleyan University
  • Co-host: Prof. Amy Belfi, Department of Psychological Science, Missouri University of Science and Technology
  • Papers cited in the discussion:
    • Altenmüller, E., Kopiez, R., and Grewe, O. (2013a). “A contribution to the evolutionary basis of music: lessons from the chill response,” in The Evolution of Emotional Communication: From Sounds in Nonhuman Mammals to Speech and Music in Man, eds E. Altenmüller, S. Schmidt, and E. Zimmermann (Oxford: Oxford University Press), 313–335.
    • Belfi, A. M., Evans, E., Heskje, J., Bruss, J., and Tranel, D. (2017). Musical anhedonia after focal brain damage. Neuropsychologia 97, 29–37. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2017.01.030
    • Brielmann, A. A., & Pelli, D. G. (2017). Beauty requires thought. Current Biology, 27(10), 1506-1513.
    • Mas-Herrero, E., Marco-Pallares, J., Lorenzo-Seva, U., Zatorre, R. J., and Rodriguez-Fornells, A. (2013). Individual differences in Music Reward experiences. Music Percept. 31, 118–138. doi: 10.1525/mp.2013.31.2.118
    • Sachs, M. E., Ellis, R. J., Schlaug, G., and Loui, P. (2016). Brain connectivity reflects human aesthetic responses to music. Soc. Cogn. Aect. Neurosci. 11, 884–891. doi: 10.1093/scan/nsw009

Time Stamps

  • [0:00:10] Intro with Amy Belfi
  • [0:15:15] Interview: Where this study comes from
  • [0:20:12] Interview: Components of research project
  • [0:31:47] Interview: Results
  • [0:44:55] Interview: Implications
  • [0:59:05] Closing with Amy Belfi


The So Strangely Podcast is produced by Finn Upham, 2018.

The closing music includes a sample of Diana Deutsch’s Speech-Song Illusion sound demo 1.