Cognitive Psychology and Attention


Music psychology is a branch of musicology and psychology. These branches help to understand and explain the musical experience in relation to musical behavior. The basic interpretations from the primary source help in the systems observation approach and the systematic interaction of the same with humans or in humans. This research paper seeks to explore the questions and issues that surround musical activities and experiences. Thus, the scientific research of the same entails human nature, human evolution, human identities and human values.

There are many things that come in through a human being’s senses. However, this does not mean that there should be difficulty while focusing on a stimulus attention and ignoring another. This is because human beings have an exceptional ability to get rid of unwanted stimuli. Cognitive psychology is a fascinating sub-discipline that explores the mental processes and tries to understand how people think, remember, perceive, solve problems and speak. This branch of psychology is also related to other disciplines such as linguistics and neuroscience. It focuses mainly on how human beings acquire store and process information. Research of the same requires many different practical applications. These applications should focus on enhancing learning, increasing decision-making accuracy, improving the memory and structuring the educational process (David, 1996). In the historic times, the school of thought was more dominant is psychology, in the later years it focused on problem-solving and attention, memory and problem-solving after the cognitive evolution. It is significant to note that behaviorism focuses on the behaviors observed while cognitive psychology focuses on the internal mental states of human beings.

The vital question is “why is it necessary to study cognitive psychology?” Well, cognitive psychology is a branch of psychology that studies many fields. It is studied by teachers, educators, scientists, architects, artists, designers and many other professionals. This psychology revolves around the idea and the notion that understanding of the minds internal processes is the key to understanding what people are made of or what makes people tick. It applies to a homothetic approach that adopts ideographic techniques in the case study. However, this ideology was not received favorably. This was because a few concerns were raised regarding the emphasis on external behavior approach. Many people were dissatisfied with this approach. In this case, this approach was revised and improved. In the recent times, cognitive approach is the most popular and most effective process used in the study and research of the minds internal processes (Eslie, 1995).

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What is attention?

Attention is the ability to concentrate, focus on a task, and allocate other processing resources. There are two different types of attention, namely, selective attention, divided attention and automatic attention. Selective attention entails the effects of trying to attend to two different things at the same time. In this case, the person needs to select the task to attend to. Divided attention, on the other hand, is the difficulty when trying to do two different tasks at the same time.


The neurosciences and philosophy are known as a binding problem. These many different possible uses are useful at different anchor points. The process by which brains segregate elements is not unique but also extremely complex. The first problem faced in this type of conventional questioning is the neural mechanism that distributes most of the activities to the central nervous system. Visual perception is a process that separates information and sends them too many different regions or parts of the brain. This helps to top process color, motion and shape.

In view of the above, this synthesis will feature on the synchronizing different neurons which are found in the cortex (Dale, 2008). Memory also depends largely on the biding problem. This simply means that it is associated with many different elements which help to maintain and create brain association. The binding problem is applied to unity consciousness in relation to a problem within the brain. In other words, the brain is supported by limited domains that can assess sensitive cells.

Most of the researches carried out on music psychology have shown that all the music performers and listeners respond emotionally during and after listening to music. This has been attributing to the fact that after experiencing an emotion which is related to music, the music emotions are recognizable. This simply means that these emotions are a behavioral change towards a specific stimulus. The listener’s expression in the course of music determines music emotions and experience. According to a researcher, Waterman (Waterman, 1992) responds to music because they have many different musical responses.


While choosing the best method to use in the research study, one should consider the cognitive neuroscience and contemporary cognitive psychology. The methods chosen should focus on the auditory attention. This simply means that the method should be introduced using a limited capacity in the attention given. The first method should try to understand human behavior and how music is processed. The method should evaluate and try to understand how humans interpret, remember, perceive and sense music. The method should be based on cross-cultural and developmental perspectives on music, performance anxiety, music therapy and neurological aspects.

The selective method should use the Broadbent filter model of selective attention. It is necessary to note that the Broadbent method recognizes the information processing approach that contributes vital information to the same. Broadbent argues that any information given at any time has the capacity to enter a sensory buffer. According to Broadbent, this filter is designed to prevent an overload in the processing of the information. This method entails focusing on how the people listening to the particular type of music deliberately overload this information and how to read such a signal in the information process. This method also focuses on a repeated back. This simply means that people will make fewer mistakes if the music is repeated back.

The other pure effective method to use is the dichotic listening task (Eslie, 1995). This method tries to determine why it is difficult for humans to listen to music or switch to two different channels at the same time. This simply means that human beings can only listen to one type of music at a given time, and the other type of music from the unattended year is lost. This simply means that the music is stored by extremely short-term memory. In this particular method, one type of music is introduced. It is necessary to note that this method takes into consideration the fact that there is a limited capacity to enable the processing of this information or the music.

Many disciplines and mutual aspects help in research methodologies of music psychology. The other method will involve identifying a single motion while the listener is listening to different types of music. Emotions such as joy, pain and sadness, will be recognized from the same (Gabrielson, 2001). In this case, a questionnaire is used to experiment on the same. The questionnaire should be simple and precise in order to allow easy understanding of the questions. It should also be addressed to a large group of person and should not only be limited to a specific group of people.

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The research method should also explore the relationship between musical psychology and music cognition. This simply means that the cognitive arrays can be transformed into musical sequences of multi-tracks. While constructing or developing the questionnaire, the researchers must consider the fact that music psychology methods are extremely difficult to answer. In this case, they should put quality control procedures in place in order to get expert review on the same (Patel, 2010). The research study must cover the perception of sound patterns, perception of musical sounds, music memory, absolute pitch, musical gatherings and rituals, musical instruments learning processes, emotional, musical behavior, personal role of music, musical, social influences, rhythm, tone, harmony, phrasing and meter in the music and the psychological processes involved in musical performance.

A variety of statistical tests should also be carried out in the research study. This will help to understand and explain the interlocking sets of music in relation to musical psychology. This research method should be based on disciplines such as the use of computational models. This will be able to reflect most of the properties present in the human cognition process. In this case, a specific music task should be used in order to determine actual relations between the theories used and the statistical tests involved (Patel, 2010).


Results from the filter or Broadbent model showed that this method was more effective if operated as a selective attention on the same. This simply means that human beings can only pay attention to one specific song or type of song at the same time. The results from the music psychological research method resulted in a conclusion that musical elements are related to emotional experiences depending on the type of music. However, many methodology problems were observed. This is because emotions only last for a short duration of time. This simply means that the questionnaires do not provide enough insight to help the researchers to understand other complex emotions which were experienced while listening to the music (Sun, 2008).

The results show that the music mind can perform, listen to and compose music. It also shows that the mind is linked to body language and responses from music. The results music therapy lowers the heart rate, anxiety and diastolic and systolic blood pressure. It was also discovered that music therapy helps to improve the quality of life among a certain group of persons. Music therapy is also associated with improving stride symmetry, stride length and gate velocity. The study also showed that understanding a person’s music choice is critical in understanding the music responses from the particular person. Most of the people had no control over the music played and thus the effects were related to the particular type of music played. The challenge, however, comes from controlling these trials in order to understand the affects of the same on people from different environments and medical settings (Eysenck, 1990). This would significantly help to optimize the use of music, relieve anxiety and increase comfort on the people involved. In this way, music can be used medically to help to improve the life and health of the patients or individuals involved.


The main aim for conducting this research is to study and understand the sound, verbal domain, which is a particular contemporary field and how it works. In this sense, the cognitive framework represents specific properties of the abstract or the musical sound environment. In this case, the sensory information or the frequency is ultimately transformed into a pitch. The input and output nature represents the transformation of the algorithms used. This research also explores the instantaneous biology of the human brain in order to present a functional base for the oriented neuropsychological work. As the sound is produced from different sources the behavior can change or remain constant through time. However, using a limited number of cues can give conflicting evidence or reinforcement on the same. This simply means that sound sources, which are present in the environment, depend on the acoustic information. In this case, the type of music or the arrangement of notes can significantly affect the perpetual results of the same (Honning, 2011).

Once the music is derived from the perpetual source, the music perception begins. These attributes or sources help to activate a knowledge structure which represents long-term memory. For example, if a song behind from a particular pitch and from a certain key, then the future information in the psychology will conform to that specific key. It is necessary to note that a person’s ability also limits the long-term effects of the music on particular persons or a group of persons.

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Music Psychology

Music features rich, melodic and rhythmic structures plus the spoken language. Language and music largely depend on the functions of the brain. This simply means that the relationship between speech intonation perceptions and musical deafness or tone deafness are some of the behaviors that are illuminated in the neural foundations and cognitive domains. In this case, perception is not registered as passive but is an active interpretation that involves a constructive process (Sun, 2008). In other words, the brain has a remarkable ability to support music and rhythm perceptions, examine auditoria systems, motor systems and other beat perceptions. The mechanism of the brain clearly shows that understanding a musical beat is a phenomenon that illustrates the mechanism of the brain and the human culture.

Temporal Dynamics of the Brain Activity

To fully understand temporal details of the brain, one should understand how the brain responds to sound. A frequency tagging is a method that is used to research and study the activity of the brain and how it evolves over time. It also helps to understand the auditory processes and the brain mechanisms on the same. Stimulus affects the brain activity in a great way. This is because the brain activity related to the stimulus becomes temporally correlated (Patel, 2010).

Music and Body Language

Music is a culture that has survived for many generations from the historical times to date. Music not only has an effect on society but also has an effect on modern life. The body generally responds to music. From the many research and studies carried out on the same, it has been proven that music is simply a unique thought that is related to the physical, spiritual and emotional aspects of the world. This simply means that a person’s mood can be easily changed by music. Music can also cause simultaneous physical responses in human beings. Other people have perceived music as a way to weaken or strengthen a person’s emotion depending on the circumstances or environment. For example, a wedding or a funeral. However, this does not mean that a group of people will feel the same emotions after hearing or listening to a particular music (Broadbent, 1958). This is because some types of music may be too advanced for some people to understand or follow. It has also been proven that classic music relaxes the pulse and heartbeat of a person. In this case, the body becomes alert and relaxed. Music has many functions apart from relaxation it also decreases blood pressure, affects the breathing rate, increase heart rate and enhances a person’s ability to learn.

Music Healthy Effects

Healthy effects of music are related to the power of music. As mentioned before, music can slow down blood pressure, slow down the breathing rare among many other functions. In this way, the person is able to live a healthy life. Different types of music from different classical periods respond to the brain in purer distinct ways. The brain can respond to changes and repetition, mood contrast and pitch and patterns of rhythm. By playing two different music rhythms at the same time or by changing the music theme help the brain to respond in different ways. However, the mind can shut down if a particular song or rhythm is repeated more than three times. The repetition can also cause the person to release themselves to emotions (Jourdian, 1997).

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