Degree Name

BS

Department

Humanities, Classics, and Comparative Literature

College

Humanities

Defense Date

2018-06-27

Publication Date

2018-07-05

First Faculty Advisor

Francesca Lawson

First Faculty Reader

David McPherson

Honors Coordinator

Steven Johnson

Keywords

Speech, Song, Auditory Processing

Abstract

An fMRI study was performed to see the differences in the neurological processing between spoken and sung language in religious music. Students at Brigham Young University, who are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, were exposed to alternating blocks of spoken and sung lyrics of religious and non-religious songs. There was no significant activation when contrasting speech and song, but there was significant activation in the right middle temporal gyrus and the posterior cingulate gyrus when listening to spoken and sung religious lyrics, suggesting an emotional reaction to religious stimuli. Contrasting spoken stimuli for both religious and non-religious examples, we also found increased activation in the right middle temporal gyrus, as well as activation in the left temporal sulcus, which suggests multi-sensory integration in the processing of lyrics when spoken.

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