The reliability of continuous brain responses during naturalistic listening to music

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  • Iballa Burunat, Finnish Centre for Interdisciplinary Music Research, Department of Music, University of Jyväskylä, Finland; Department of Mathematical Information Technology, University of Jyväskylä, Finland. Electronic address: Iballa.burunat@jyu.fi.
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  • Petri Toiviainen, Finnish Centre for Interdisciplinary Music Research, Department of Music, University of Jyväskylä, Finland.
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  • Vinoo Alluri, Finnish Centre for Interdisciplinary Music Research, Department of Music, University of Jyväskylä, Finland.
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  • Brigitte Bogert, Cognitive Brain Research Unit (CBRU), Institute of Behavioral Sciences, University of Helsinki, Finland.
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  • Tapani Ristaniemi, Department of Mathematical Information Technology, University of Jyväskylä, Finland.
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  • Mikko Sams, Department of Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering, Aalto University School of Science, Finland.
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  • Elvira Brattico

Low-level (timbral) and high-level (tonal and rhythmical) musical features during continuous listening to music, studied by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), have been shown to elicit large-scale responses in cognitive, motor, and limbic brain networks. Using a similar methodological approach and a similar group of participants, we aimed to study the replicability of previous findings. Participants' fMRI responses during continuous listening of a tango Nuevo piece were correlated voxelwise against the time series of a set of perceptually validated musical features computationally extracted from the music. The replicability of previous results and the present study was assessed by two approaches: (a) correlating the respective activation maps, and (b) computing the overlap of active voxels between datasets at variable levels of ranked significance. Activity elicited by timbral features was better replicable than activity elicited by tonal and rhythmical ones. These results indicate more reliable processing mechanisms for low-level musical features as compared to more high-level features. The processing of such high-level features is probably more sensitive to the state and traits of the listeners, as well as of their background in music.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNeuroImage
Volume124
IssuePt A
Pages (from-to)224-31
Number of pages8
ISSN1053-8119
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016

    Research areas

  • Acoustic Stimulation, Adult, Auditory Perception, Brain, Brain Mapping, Female, Humans, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Music, Reproducibility of Results, Young Adult, Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

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