The CREAM project’s objective is to produce technology and knowledge that make it possible to characterize which type of musical signal sets off which type of brain mechanism of emotional induction.
Until now, research in musical cognition has focused on correlations between relatively indistinct emotional reactions and loosely controlled musical stimuli: we know that music creates emotions, but we do not know how. The CREAM project suggests combining current neuroscience methods with a high technical level of signal processing to create, for the first time, musical stimuli capable of selectively causing or inhibiting certain cortical circuits involved in emotional processing so they may be studied in isolation. For example, we will suggest targeting centers of interpretation of prosody and speech by constructing musical sounds that "tremble" like an anxious voice or that "rejoice" like a happy voice.
These new experimental control techniques make it possible to expand our current understand of brain mechanisms of emotional induction, but also to conceive several clinical applications for therapy or diagnosis of depression or neurodegenerative illnesses. In other words, the CREAM project will turn music into a real clinical technology capable of stimulating specific neuronal circuits in a non-intrusive and non-pharmacological manner.