Browsing by Subject "PITCH PERCEPTION"

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  • Pallesen, Karen Johanne; Brattico, Elvira; Bailey, Christopher J.; Korvenoja, Antti; Koivisto, Juha; Gjedde, Albert; Carlson, Synnove (2010)
    Musical competence may confer cognitive advantages that extend beyond processing of familiar musical sounds. Behavioural evidence indicates a general enhancement of both working memory and attention in musicians. It is possible that musicians, due to their training, are better able to maintain focus on task-relevant stimuli, a skill which is crucial to working memory. We measured the blood oxygenation-level dependent (BOLD) activation signal in musicians and non-musicians during working memory of musical sounds to determine the relation among performance, musical competence and generally enhanced cognition. All participants easily distinguished the stimuli. We tested the hypothesis that musicians nonetheless would perform better, and that differential brain activity would mainly be present in cortical areas involved in cognitive control such as the lateral prefrontal cortex. The musicians performed better as reflected in reaction times and error rates. Musicians also had larger BOLD responses than non-musicians in neuronal networks that sustain attention and cognitive control, including regions of the lateral prefrontal cortex, lateral parietal cortex, insula, and putamen in the right hemisphere, and bilaterally in the posterior dorsal prefrontal cortex and anterior cingulate gyrus. The relationship between the task performance and the magnitude of the BOLD response was more positive in musicians than in non-musicians, particularly during the most difficult working memory task. The results confirm previous findings that neural activity increases during enhanced working memory performance. The results also suggest that superior working memory task performance in musicians rely on an enhanced ability to exert sustained cognitive control. This cognitive benefit in musicians may be a consequence of focused musical training.
  • Pallesen, Karen Johanne; Bailey, Christopher J.; Brattico, Elvira; Gjedde, Albert; Palva, J. Matias; Palva, Satu (2015)
    Musical expertise is associated with structural and functional changes in the brain that underlie facilitated auditory perception. We investigated whether the phase locking (PL) and amplitude modulations (AM) of neuronal oscillations in response to musical chords are correlated with musical expertise and whether they reflect the prototypicality of chords in Western tonal music. To this aim, we recorded magnetoencephalography (MEG) while musicians and non-musicians were presented with common prototypical major and minor chords, and with uncommon, non-prototypical dissonant and mistuned chords, while watching a silenced movie. We then analyzed the PL and AM of ongoing oscillations in the theta (4-8 Hz) alpha (8-14 Hz), beta- (14-30 Hz) and gamma- (30-80 Hz) bands to these chords. We found that musical expertise was associated with strengthened PL of ongoing oscillations to chords over a wide frequency range during the first 300 ms from stimulus onset, as opposed to increased alpha-band AM to chords over temporal MEG channels. In musicians, the gamma- band PL was strongest to non-prototypical compared to other chords, while in non-musicians PL was strongest to minor chords. In both musicians and non-musicians the long-latency (> 200 ms) gamma-band PL was also sensitive to chord identity, and particularly to the amplitude modulations (beats) of the dissonant chord. These findings suggest that musical expertise modulates oscillation PL to musical chords and that the strength of these modulations is dependent on chord prototypicality.
  • Sihvonen, Aleksi J.; Särkämö, Teppo; Ripolles, Pablo; Leo, Vera; Saunavaara, Jani; Parkkola, Riitta; Rodriguez-Fornells, Antoni; Soinila, Seppo (2017)
    Brain damage causing acquired amusia disrupts the functional music processing system, creating a unique opportunity to investigate the critical neural architectures of musical processing in the brain. In this longitudinal fMRI study of stroke patients (N = 41) with a 6-month follow-up, we used natural vocal music (sung with lyrics) and instrumental music stimuli to uncover brain activation and functional network connectivity changes associated with acquired amusia and its recovery. In the acute stage, amusic patients exhibited decreased activation in right superior temporal areas compared to non-amusic patients during instrumental music listening. During the follow-up, the activation deficits expanded to comprise a wide-spread bilateral frontal, temporal, and parietal network. The amusics showed less activation deficits to vocal music, suggesting preserved processing of singing in the amusic brain. Compared to non-recovered amusics, recovered amusics showed increased activation to instrumental music in bilateral frontoparietal areas at 3 months and in right middle and inferior frontal areas at 6 months. Amusia recovery was also associated with increased functional connectivity in right and left frontoparietal attention networks to instrumental music. Overall, our findings reveal the dynamic nature of deficient activation and connectivity patterns in acquired amusia and highlight the role of dorsal networks in amusia recovery.
  • Sihvonen, Aleksi J.; Ripolles, Pablo; Rodriguez-Fornells, Antoni; Soinila, Seppo; Sarkamo, Teppo (2017)
    Although, acquired amusia is a common deficit following stroke, relatively little is still known about its precise neural basis, let alone to its recovery. Recently, we performed a voxel-based lesion-symptom mapping (VLSM) and morphometry (VBM) study which revealed a right lateralized lesion pattern, and longitudinal gray matter volume (GMV) and white matter volume (WMV) changes that were specifically associated with acquired amusia after stroke. In the present study, using a larger sample of stroke patients (N = 90), we aimed to replicate and extend the previous structural findings as well as to determine the lesion patterns and volumetric changes associated with amusia recovery. Structural MRIs were acquired at acute and 6-month post-stroke stages. Music perception was behaviorally assessed at acute and 3-month post-stroke stages using the Scale and Rhythm subtests of the Montreal Battery of Evaluation of Amusia (MBEA). Using these scores, the patients were classified as non-amusic, recovered amusic, and non-recovered amusic. The results of the acute stage VLSM analyses and the longitudinal VBM analyses converged to show that more severe and persistent (non-recovered) amusia was associated with an extensive pattern of lesions and GMV/WMV decrease in right temporal, frontal, parietal, striatal, and limbic areas. In contrast, less severe and transient (recovered) amusia was linked to lesions specifically in left inferior frontal gyrus as well as to a GMV decrease in right parietal areas. Separate continuous analyses of MBEA Scale and Rhythm scores showed extensively overlapping lesion pattern in right temporal, frontal, and subcortical structures as well as in the right insula. Interestingly, the recovered pitch amusia was related to smaller GMV decreases in the temporoparietal junction whereas the recovered rhythm amusia was associated to smaller GMV decreases in the inferior temporal pole. Overall, the results provide a more comprehensive picture of the lesions and longitudinal structural changes associated with different recovery trajectories of acquired amusia.