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Neural representations of the hierarchical scale pitch structure

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  • Kaisu I. Krohn, Denmark
  • Elvira Brattico
  • Vesa Valimaki, Denmark
  • Mari Tervaniemi

THE GOAL OF OUR STUDY WAS to reveal neural correlates of the hierarchical scale pitch structure of Western music. Electroencephalography (EEG) was recorded from 11 musicians and 12 nonmusicians in passive and active conditions. All pitches of the E major scale were presented, with the first-scale pitch having a higher frequency of occurrence than the others. Among the six infrequently presented scale pitches, results showed largest NI for the fifth-scale pitch highest in the scale pitch structure. This suggested enhanced neural representations for a pitch high in hierarchy. Moreover, in musicians the amplitude of P3 was modulated by the status of the pitch. Taken together, the hierarchical tonal relations may be probed by ERPs to sparsely presented tones of the scale.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMusic Perception
Volume24
Issue3
Pages (from-to)281-296
Number of pages16
ISSN0730-7829
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2007

    Research areas

  • tonality, event-related potentials, N1, P3, musical expertise, EVENT-RELATED POTENTIALS, HUMAN AUDITORY-CORTEX, MUSICAL EXPERTISE, EXPECTANCY VIOLATION, NON-MUSICIANS, BRAIN, FREQUENCY, CONTEXT, NONMUSICIANS, PERCEPTION

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