Tonal Expectations Influence Early Pitch Processing

Authors: Frédéric Marmel, Fabien Perrin, and Barbara Tillmann
Publication: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Publication volume & date: Posted Online January 25, 2011.
DOI: 10.1162/jocn.2011.21632
Link: http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/abs/10.1162/jocn.2011.21632
Abridged Summary: This study “investigated the ERP correlates of the influence of tonal expectations on pitch processing. Participants performed a pitch discrimination task between penultimate and final tones of melodies. These last two tones were a repetition of the same musical note, but penultimate tones were always in tune whereas final tones were slightly out of tune in half of the trials…Manipulating tonal expectations with minimal acoustic changes allowed us to focus on the cognitive expectations on the basis of the listeners’ knowledge of tonal structures. ..Our results suggest that cognitive tonal expectations can influence pitch perception at several steps of processing, starting with early attentional selection of pitch.”

Since this article is currently only available for purchase, we may blog about it again when we can read the entire article. Meanwhile, I looked for more information about the term “ERP” and found this useful explanation.

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This entry was posted in brain research, music cognition, sound and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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