To test the hypothesis that pleasure from artistic music is intellectual while that from popular music is physiological, this study investigated the different functional mechanisms between aesthetic appreciation of artistic and popular music using fMRI. 18 male non-musicians were scanned while they performed an aesthetic rating task for excerpts of artistic music, popular music and musical notes playing and singing (control). When contrasted popular and artistic condition directly, we found popular music activated right putamen, while artistic music activated right mPFC. By parametric analysis, we found the activation of right putamen tracked the aesthetic ratings of popular music, whereas the BOLD signal in right mPFC tracked the aesthetic ratings of artistic music. […] For the parametric analysis, one-sample t-tests were used to reveal the regions in which the BOLD signal correlatively changed with the aesthetic rating scores of popular and artistic music, respectively.



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