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Mismatch responses to violations of musical features in children compared to adult

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/proceedingConference abstract in proceedingsResearch

There is much research on the neurophysiology of predictive processes related to music in adults. However, much less is known on the developmental trajectory of these neural responses. To bring some knowledge into this area, we recorded the electroencephalograms (EEG) of thirty-five 8-years-old children and ten adults without formal training in music using a 32-electrode active system. All subjects voluntarily participated in the study, approved by our Institutional Review Board. Both the adults and the legal tutors of the children consented to the publication and dissemination of the results. Participants were watching a muted video while a repetitive four-note pattern, known in music as the Alberti bass, was presented using piano tones. In our non-standard Musical Multi-Feature paradigm, we manipulated every third note of the pattern by introducing feature errors: changes in timbre (flute-timbre, violin-timbre), frequency (lower pitch, a slide glissando) and volume (lower intensity, omission). After preprocessing the EEG recordings, we compared the mismatch responses (MMR) to these six different violations in children and adults. While the feature errors elicited typical mismatch negativities (MMN) in adults, they generally elicited frontally positive MMR in children. All the MMR of children had greater absolute mean amplitudes and longer latencies than those of adults, with the exception of omission, which elicited a frontally negative response in children. Additionally, we assessed music discrimination in both groups and found that children showed lower musical competence for melody than for rhythm, whereas for adults the scores did not differ between melody and rhythm tests. In sum, this study demonstrates qualitative differences in the morphology of the MMR to violations of acoustic features of the musical sounds, which are strongly dependent on age, and calls for further longitudinal research to determine the temporal course of the maturation of these prediction error signals.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMMN 2022 : Mismatch negativity: neural basis and biomarker development
Publication yearSept 2022
Article numberP-14
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022
EventThe 9th Mismatch Negativity conference - Fukushima Medical University, Fukushima, Japan
Duration: 21 Sept 202223 Sept 2022
Conference number: 9


ConferenceThe 9th Mismatch Negativity conference
LocationFukushima Medical University

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