Cortex Vol. 47 Issue 9 October 2011

The October 2011 issue of Cortex includes a special section titled “interdisciplinary studies on music in the brain.”  The introductory article, Tuning the Brain for Music by Daniela Perani, Mari Tervaniemi, and Petri Toivianen briefly outlines recent advances in music cognition.  The music cognition articles are listed below.

  • Emotion rendering in music:  Range and characteristic values of seven musical variables  Roberto Bresin & Anders Friberg  pp. 1068-1081 From the abstract:  Many studies on the synthesis of emotional expression in music performance have focused on the effect of individual performance variables on perceived emotional quality by making a systematical variation of variables.  However, most of the studies have used a predetermined small number of levels for each variable, and the selection of these levels has often been done arbitrarily. The main aim of this research work is to improve upon existing methodologies by taking a synthesis approach…
  • Simultaneous recording of electroencephalographic data in musicians playing in ensemble pp. 1082-1090 Claudio Babiloni, Fabrizio Vecchio, Francesco Infarinato, Paola Buffo, Nicola Marzano, Danilo Spada, Simone Rossi, Ivo Bruni, Paolo M. Rossini, Daniela Perani  From the abstract:  Here we describe a methodological approach for the simultaneous electroencephalographic (EEG) recording in musicians playing in ensemble. Four professional saxophonists wore pre-wired EEG caps (30 electrodes placed according to an augmented 10–20 system; cephalic reference and ground)    . . . During the music performance, alpha power density values decreased in amplitude in several cortical regions, whereas power density values enhanced within narrow high-frequency bands. In conclusion, the present methodological approach appeared to be suitable for simultaneous EEG recordings in musicians playing in ensemble.
  • New fast mismatch negativity paradigm for determining the neural prerequisites for musical ability pp. 1091-1098. Peter Vuust, Elvira Brattico, Enrico Glerean, Miia Seppänen, Satu Pakarinen, Mari Tervaniemi, Risto Näätänen  From the Abstract:  Studies have consistently shown that the mismatch negativity (MMN) for different auditory features correlates with musical skills, and that this effect is more pronounced for stimuli integrated in complex musical contexts. …we developed a novel multi-feature MMN paradigm with 6 different deviant types integrated in a complex musical context of no more than 20min in duration. We found significant MMNs for all 6 deviant types. Hence, this short objective measure can putatively be used as an index for auditory and musical development.
  • The role of mood and personality in the perception of emotions represented by music pp.1099-1106.  Jonna K. Vuoskoski, Tuomas Eerola From the abstract:  The primary aim of this study was to explore how listeners’ personality and mood are reflected in their evaluations of discrete emotions represented by music. A related aim was to investigate the role of personality in music preferences. . .  Current mood was associated with mood-congruent biases in the evaluation of emotions represented by music, but extraversion moderated the degree of mood-congruence. Personality traits were strongly connected with preference ratings. . .
  • Multidimensional scaling of emotional responses to music in patients with temporal lobe resection  pp. 1099-1106.  D. Dellacherie, E. Bigand, P. Molin, M. Baulac, S. Samson  From the Abstract:  The present study investigated emotional responses to music by using multidimensional scaling (MDS) analysis in patients with right or left medial temporal lobe (MTL) lesions and matched normal controls (NC). . . We concluded that the ability to detect and use emotional valence and arousal when making dissimilarity judgments was not strongly impaired by a right or left MTL lesion. . .
  • Impaired recognition of musical emotions and facial expressions following anteromedial temporal lobe excision pp. 1116-1125  Nathalie Gosselin, Isabelle Peretz, Dominique Hasboun, Michel Baulac, Séverine Samson  From the Abstract:. . . scary music and fearful faces may be processed by common cerebral structures. To assess this possibility, we tested patients with unilateral anteromedial temporal excision and normal controls in two emotional tasks. . . .inspection of individual results showed that recognition of fearful faces can be preserved whereas recognition of scary music can be impaired. Such a dissociation found in two cases suggests that fear recognition in faces and in music does not necessarily involve exactly the same cerebral networks and this hypothesis is discussed in light of the current literature.
  • Sensitive periods in human development: Evidence from musical training pp. 1126-1137 Virginia B. Penhune From the Abstract:  . . . This review presents behavioral work from our laboratory comparing the performance of ET (before age seven) and LT musicians who were matched for years of experience on the ability to tap in synchrony with auditory and visual rhythms. The results demonstrate the existence of a possible sensitive period for musical training that has its greatest impact on measures of sensorimotor integration. The possible mechanisms underlying sensitive periods for musical training are discussed based on current theories describing the influence of both low-level features of sensory experience and higher-level cognitive processing.
  • The development of aesthetic responses to music and their underlying neural and psychological mechanisms  pp. 1138-1146.  S. Nieminen, E. Istók, E. Brattico, M. Tervaniemi, M. Huotilainen  From the Abstract:  . . . In the present review, we examine important psychological and neural mechanisms that are believed to contribute to the development of aesthetic experiences of music.
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