British Journal of Developmental Psychology

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Volume 33 Issue 3 (September 2015), Pages 259-403

Developmental change and cross‐domain links in vocal and musical emotion recognition performance in childhood (pages 398-403)

Although the configurations of psychoacoustic cues signalling emotions in human vocalizations and instrumental music are very similar, cross‐domain links in recognition performance have yet to be studied developmentally. Two hundred and twenty 5‐ to 10‐year‐old children were asked to identify musical excerpts and vocalizations as happy, sad, or fearful. The results revealed age‐related increases in overall recognition performance with significant correlations across vocal and musical conditions at all developmental stages. Recognition scores were greater for musical than vocal stimuli and were superior in females compared with males. These results confirm that recognition of emotions in vocal and musical stimuli is linked by 5 years and that sensitivity to emotions in auditory stimuli is influenced by age and gender.

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