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Several studies have established that Cochlear Implant (CI) users highly rely on temporal characteristics, primarily tempo of the music piece, for recognition of emotional content in music. In this study, it is investigated whether tempo of the music is the only cue which helps CI users in comprehending the emotion conveyed by music or do they make use of any other temporal cue to judge the emotional content. Normal Hearing (NH) listeners rated the emotional content conveyed by music as happy/sad and reproduced the tempo by tapping for piano clips and their corresponding percussive versions. The results showed that based on the tempo of music pieces, NH listeners were correctly able to identify the intended emotion in percussive version that were devoid of mode and tonal information. However, mixed-linear analysis revealed a weak correlation between the tempo and the judged emotional content of music. It turned out that an accurate predictor of emotion in percussive pieces is the pulsation (perceptual tempo) and mean onset-onset difference, (referred to as MOOD in study) as an additional temporal cue. Furthermore, the study establishes that CI recognition of emotional content can be accurately modelled by NH listeners' emotional content response for non-tonal pieces using mean onset interval as a predictor.
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