Modulated neural processing of Western harmony in folk musicians

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  • Elvira Brattico
  • Tiina Tupala, Univ Helsinki, University of Helsinki, Finland & Finnish Ctr Interdisciplinary Mus Res, Inst Behav Sci, Cognit Brain Res Unit, Denmark
  • Enrico Glerean, Aalto Univ, Aalto University, Sch Sci, Dept Biomed Engn & Computat Sci, Brain & Mind Lab
  • ,
  • Mari Tervaniemi, Univ Jyvaskyla, University of Jyvaskyla, Dept Mus, Finnish Ctr Excellence Interdisciplinary Mus Res

A chord deviating from the conventions of Western tonal music elicits an early right anterior negativity (ERAN) in inferofrontal brain regions. Here, we tested whether the ERAN is modulated by expertise in more than one music culture, as typical of folk musicians. Finnish folk musicians and nonmusicians participated in electroencephalography recordings. The cadences consisted of seven chords. In incongruous cadences, the third, fifth, or seventh chord was a Neapolitan. The ERAN to the Neapolitans was enhanced in folk musicians compared to nonmusicians. Folk musicians showed an enhanced P3a for the ending Neapolitan. The Neapolitan at the fifth position was perceived differently and elicited a late enhanced ERAN in folk musicians. Hence, expertise in more than one music culture seems to modify chord processing by enhancing the ERAN to ambivalent chords and the P3a to incongruous chords, and by altering their perceptual attributes.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPsychophysiology
Volume50
Issue7
Pages (from-to)653-663
Number of pages11
ISSN0048-5772
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013

    Research areas

  • Cognition, Learning, memory, EEG, ERP, Individual differences, Music, PITCH DISCRIMINATION, AUDITORY-CORTEX, BRAIN, RESPONSES, SYNTAX, NONMUSICIANS, POTENTIALS, NEGATIVITY, PERCEPTION

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