Kiralee is a Melbourne-based post-grad undertaking the pretty impressive task of completing a combined Masters/PhD in clinical neuropsychology. For her PhD, Kiralee wants to know what it is about music that can change the way we feel. Specifically, she is interested in why we crave tension resolution in music (otherwise known as a cadence or bass drop, depending on your musical preference). By understanding our craving for tension resolution, she thinks that we can learn a great deal about music’s power over our emotional state. Ultimately, Kiralee hopes her findings will go on to inform targeted music interventions for those struggling with substance use disorders, eating disorders, and self-harm.
Putting her classical music training to appalling use, Kiralee decided to look at tension resolution in electronic dance music. In a cheeky research design, she tries to induce craving by cutting the music just before the point of tension resolution, or the drop. In other words, the most frustrating rave you will ever attend, in the name of science. Kiralee’s research has caught the attention of people from all over the world – following an interview she did with Hack on Triple J, articles about her work have been published in Dutch, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, Portugese, Spanish and French. She also writes a blog on music neuroscience at www.kiraleemusgrove.com and is learning to tweet @musicandcraving.