Browsing by Subject "SOUND"

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  • Bonetti, L.; Haumann, N. T.; Brattico, E.; Kliuchko, M.; Vuust, P.; Särkämö, T.; Näätänen, R. (2018)
    Objective: Memory is the faculty responsible for encoding, storing and retrieving information, comprising several sub-systems such as sensory memory (SM) and working memory (WM). Some previous studies exclusively using clinical population revealed associations between these two memory systems. Here we aimed at investigating the relation between modality-general WM performance and auditory SM formation indexed by magnetic mismatch negativity (MMN) responses in a healthy population of young adults. Methods: Using magnetoencephalography (MEG), we recorded MMN amplitudes to changes related to six acoustic features (pitch, timbre, location, intensity, slide, and rhythm) inserted in a 4-tone sequence in 86 adult participants who were watching a silent movie. After the MEG recordings, participants were administered the WM primary subtests (Spatial Span and Letter Number Sequencing) of Wechsler Memory Scale (WMS). Results: We found significant correlations between frontal MMN amplitudes to intensity and slide deviants and WM performance. In case of intensity, the relation was revealed in all participants, while for slide only in individuals with a musical background. Conclusions: Automatic neural responses to auditory feature changes are increased in individuals with higher visual WM performance. Significance: Conscious WM abilities might be linked to pre-attentive sensory-specific neural skills of prediction and short-term storage of environmental regularities. (C) 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
  • Dawson, Caitlin; Tervaniemi, Mari; Aalto, Daniel (2018)
    Both musical training and native language have been shown to have experience-based plastic effects on auditory processing. However, the combined effects within individuals are unclear. Recent research suggests that musical training and tone language speaking are not clearly additive in their effects on processing of auditory features and that there may be a disconnect between perceptual and neural signatures of auditory feature processing. The literature has only recently begun to investigate the effects of musical expertise on basic auditory processing for different linguistic groups. This work provides a profile of primary auditory feature discrimination for Mandarin speaking musicians and nonmusicians. The musicians showed enhanced perceptual discrimination for both frequency and duration as well as enhanced duration discrimination in a multifeature discrimination task, compared to nonmusicians. However, there were no differences between the groups in duration processing of nonspeech sounds at a subcortical level or in subcortical frequency representation of a nonnative tone contour, for f(o) or for the first or second formant region. The results indicate that musical expertise provides a cognitive, but not subcortical, advantage in a population of Mandarin speakers.
  • Morrison, C. A.; Aunins, A.; Benko, Z.; Brotons, L.; Chodkiewicz, T.; Chylarecki, P.; Escandell, Jose M.; Eskildsen, D. P.; Gamero, A.; Herrando, S.; Jiguet, F.; Kålås, J. A.; Kamp, J.; Klvanova, A.; Kmecl, P.; Lehikoinen, A.; Lindström, Å.; Moshøj, C.; Noble, D. G.; Qien, I. J.; Paquet, J-Y; Reif, J.; Sattler, T.; Seaman, B. S.; Teufelbauer, N.; Trautmann, S.; van Turnhout, C. A. M.; Vorisek, P.; Butler, S. J. (2021)
    Birdsong has long connected humans to nature. Historical reconstructions using bird monitoring and song recordings collected by citizen scientists reveal that the soundscape of birdsong in North America and Europe is both quieter and less varied, mirroring declines in bird diversity and abundance. Natural sounds, and bird song in particular, play a key role in building and maintaining our connection with nature, but widespread declines in bird populations mean that the acoustic properties of natural soundscapes may be changing. Using data-driven reconstructions of soundscapes in lieu of historical recordings, here we quantify changes in soundscape characteristics at more than 200,000 sites across North America and Europe. We integrate citizen science bird monitoring data with recordings of individual species to reveal a pervasive loss of acoustic diversity and intensity of soundscapes across both continents over the past 25 years, driven by changes in species richness and abundance. These results suggest that one of the fundamental pathways through which humans engage with nature is in chronic decline, with potentially widespread implications for human health and well-being.
  • Vainio, Lari; Tiainen, Mikko; Tiippana, Kaisa; Vainio, Martti (2019)
    It has been shown recently that when participants are required to pronounce a vowel at the same time with the hand movement, the vocal and manual responses are facilitated when a front vowel is produced with forward-directed hand movements and a back vowel is produced with backward-directed hand movements. This finding suggests a coupling between spatial programing of articulatory tongue movements and hand movements. The present study revealed that the same effect can be also observed in relation to directional leg movements. The study suggests that the effect operates within the common directional processes of movement planning including at least tongue, hand and leg movements, and these processes might contribute sound-to-meaning mappings to the semantic concepts of 'forward' and 'backward'.
  • Rämä, Pia; Leminen, Alina; Koskenoja-Vainikka, Satu; Leminen, Miika; Alho, Kimmo; Kujala, Teija (2018)
    Dual language experience has typically been shown to improve various executive control functions. We investigated with event-related brain potentials (ERPs) recorded from early (natively) bilingual speakers and control participants whether it also affects auditory selective attention. We delivered to our participants two tone streams, one to the left and one to the right ear. Both streams consisted of standard tones and two types of infrequent deviant tones which had either an enhanced duration or intensity. The participants were instructed to attend either to the right or left stream and to detect longer-duration deviants in the attended stream. The results showed that the early bilinguals did not outperform the controls in target detection accuracy or speed. However, the late portion of the attention-related ERP modulation (the negative difference, Nd) was larger over the left hemisphere in the early bilinguals than in the controls, suggesting that the maintenance of selective attention or further processing of selectively attended sounds is enhanced in the bilinguals. Moreover, the late reorienting negativity (RON) in response to intensity-deviant tones was larger in the bilinguals, suggesting more efficient disengagement of attention from distracting auditory events. Hence, our results demonstrate that brain responses associated with certain aspects of auditory attention are enhanced in the bilingual adults, indicating that early dual language exposure modulates the neuronal responsiveness of auditory modality.
  • Dawson, Caitlin; Aalto, Daniel; Simko, Juraj; Vainio, Martti; Tervaniemi, Mari (2017)
    Musical experiences and native language are both known to affect auditory processing. The present work aims to disentangle the influences of native language phonology and musicality on behavioral and subcortical sound feature processing in a population of musically diverse Finnish speakers as well as to investigate the specificity of enhancement from musical training. Finnish speakers are highly sensitive to duration cues since in Finnish, vowel and consonant duration determine word meaning. Using a correlational approach with a set of behavioral sound feature discrimination tasks, brainstem recordings, and a musical sophistication questionnaire, we find no evidence for an association between musical sophistication and more precise duration processing in Finnish speakers either in the auditory brainstem response or in behavioral tasks, but they do show an enhanced pitch discrimination compared to Finnish speakers with less musical experience and show greater duration modulation in a complex task. These results are consistent with a ceiling effect set for certain sound features which corresponds to the phonology of the native language, leaving an opportunity for music experience-based enhancement of sound features not explicitly encoded in the language (such as pitch, which is not explicitly encoded in Finnish). Finally, the pattern of duration modulation in more musically sophisticated Finnish speakers suggests integrated feature processing for greater efficiency in a real world musical situation. These results have implications for research into the specificity of plasticity in the auditory system as well as to the effects of interaction of specific language features with musical experiences.
  • Vainio, L.; Mustonen, T.; Vainio, M. (2019)
    The study investigated whether number magnitude can influence vocal responses. Participants produced either short or long version of the vowel [&] (Experiment 1), or high or low-pitched version of that vowel (Experiment 2), according to the parity of a visually presented number. In addition to measuring reaction times (RT) of vocal responses, we measured the intensity, the fundamental frequency (f(0)) and the first and second formants of the vocalization. The RTs showed that the long and high-pitched vocal responses were associated with large numbers, while short and low-pitched vocal responses were associated with small numbers. It was also found that high-pitched vocalizations were mapped with the odd numbers, while the low-pitched vocalizations were mapped with the even numbers. Finally, large numbers increased the f(0) values. The study shows systematic interactions between the processes that represent number magnitude and produce vocal responses.