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Perceiving pitch absolutely: comparing absolute and relative pitch possessors in a pitch memory task.

Schulze K, Gaab N, Schlaug G - BMC Neurosci (2009)

Bottom Line: We found a common activation pattern for both groups that included the superior temporal gyrus (STG) extending into the adjacent superior temporal sulcus (STS), the inferior parietal lobule (IPL) extending into the adjacent intraparietal sulcus (IPS), the posterior part of the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), the pre-supplementary motor area (pre-SMA), and superior lateral cerebellar regions.Significant between-group differences were seen in the left STS during the early encoding phase of the pitch memory task (more activation in AP musicians) and in the right superior parietal lobule (SPL)/intraparietal sulcus (IPS) during the early perceptual phase (ITP 0-3) and later working memory/multimodal encoding phase of the pitch memory task (more activation in non-AP musicians).Non-significant between-group trends were seen in the posterior IFG (more in AP musicians) and the IPL (more anterior activations in the non-AP group and more posterior activations in the AP group).

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Neurology, Music and Neuroimaging Laboratory, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, 02215, USA. kschulze@ich.ucl.ac.uk

ABSTRACT

Background: The perceptual-cognitive mechanisms and neural correlates of Absolute Pitch (AP) are not fully understood. The aim of this fMRI study was to examine the neural network underlying AP using a pitch memory experiment and contrasting two groups of musicians with each other, those that have AP and those that do not.

Results: We found a common activation pattern for both groups that included the superior temporal gyrus (STG) extending into the adjacent superior temporal sulcus (STS), the inferior parietal lobule (IPL) extending into the adjacent intraparietal sulcus (IPS), the posterior part of the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), the pre-supplementary motor area (pre-SMA), and superior lateral cerebellar regions. Significant between-group differences were seen in the left STS during the early encoding phase of the pitch memory task (more activation in AP musicians) and in the right superior parietal lobule (SPL)/intraparietal sulcus (IPS) during the early perceptual phase (ITP 0-3) and later working memory/multimodal encoding phase of the pitch memory task (more activation in non-AP musicians). Non-significant between-group trends were seen in the posterior IFG (more in AP musicians) and the IPL (more anterior activations in the non-AP group and more posterior activations in the AP group).

Conclusion: Since the increased activation of the left STS in AP musicians was observed during the early perceptual encoding phase and since the STS has been shown to be involved in categorization tasks, its activation might suggest that AP musicians involve categorization regions in tonal tasks. The increased activation of the right SPL/IPS in non-AP musicians indicates either an increased use of regions that are part of a tonal working memory (WM) network, or the use of a multimodal encoding strategy such as the utilization of a visual-spatial mapping scheme (i.e., imagining notes on a staff or using a spatial coding for their relative pitch height) for pitch information.

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Activation patterns for AP and non-AP musicians. Contrasts are separated into early (ITP 0–3) and late (ITP 4–6) imaging time points (p < 0.001, uncorrected, voxel extent = 10) superimposed onto the surface reconstruction of a single, normalized brain.
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Figure 3: Activation patterns for AP and non-AP musicians. Contrasts are separated into early (ITP 0–3) and late (ITP 4–6) imaging time points (p < 0.001, uncorrected, voxel extent = 10) superimposed onto the surface reconstruction of a single, normalized brain.

Mentions: Two statistical thresholds were used to analyze brain activation within groups and between groups. A less conservative threshold (p < 0.001, voxel extent = 10, uncorrected for multiple comparisons) was used to show the entire pattern of activated brain regions during the performance of the pitch memory task within each group (Fig. 3) and to show between-group differences (Table 1 and Fig. 4) that would allow comparisons with previous publications. In a second step we applied a more conservative threshold to show only those voxels that survived correction for multiple tests (p < 0.05, FDR corrected) (Table 1). Although, our discussion will mainly focus on the significant between group differences (p < 0.05, FDR corrected), we will address some of the non-significant trends as well (p < 0.001, voxel extent = 10, uncorrected for multiple comparisons). Figure 3 and 4 show the overall activation patterns of both groups and the between-group differences separated into the early perceptual phase (ITP 0–3) and later working memory/multimodal encoding phase (ITP 4–6). For the overall activation pattern, only clusters (cluster level) which showed significant activation (p < 0.05, FDR corrected) are reported (Table 1).


Perceiving pitch absolutely: comparing absolute and relative pitch possessors in a pitch memory task.

Schulze K, Gaab N, Schlaug G - BMC Neurosci (2009)

Activation patterns for AP and non-AP musicians. Contrasts are separated into early (ITP 0–3) and late (ITP 4–6) imaging time points (p < 0.001, uncorrected, voxel extent = 10) superimposed onto the surface reconstruction of a single, normalized brain.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2749857&req=5

Figure 3: Activation patterns for AP and non-AP musicians. Contrasts are separated into early (ITP 0–3) and late (ITP 4–6) imaging time points (p < 0.001, uncorrected, voxel extent = 10) superimposed onto the surface reconstruction of a single, normalized brain.
Mentions: Two statistical thresholds were used to analyze brain activation within groups and between groups. A less conservative threshold (p < 0.001, voxel extent = 10, uncorrected for multiple comparisons) was used to show the entire pattern of activated brain regions during the performance of the pitch memory task within each group (Fig. 3) and to show between-group differences (Table 1 and Fig. 4) that would allow comparisons with previous publications. In a second step we applied a more conservative threshold to show only those voxels that survived correction for multiple tests (p < 0.05, FDR corrected) (Table 1). Although, our discussion will mainly focus on the significant between group differences (p < 0.05, FDR corrected), we will address some of the non-significant trends as well (p < 0.001, voxel extent = 10, uncorrected for multiple comparisons). Figure 3 and 4 show the overall activation patterns of both groups and the between-group differences separated into the early perceptual phase (ITP 0–3) and later working memory/multimodal encoding phase (ITP 4–6). For the overall activation pattern, only clusters (cluster level) which showed significant activation (p < 0.05, FDR corrected) are reported (Table 1).

Bottom Line: We found a common activation pattern for both groups that included the superior temporal gyrus (STG) extending into the adjacent superior temporal sulcus (STS), the inferior parietal lobule (IPL) extending into the adjacent intraparietal sulcus (IPS), the posterior part of the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), the pre-supplementary motor area (pre-SMA), and superior lateral cerebellar regions.Significant between-group differences were seen in the left STS during the early encoding phase of the pitch memory task (more activation in AP musicians) and in the right superior parietal lobule (SPL)/intraparietal sulcus (IPS) during the early perceptual phase (ITP 0-3) and later working memory/multimodal encoding phase of the pitch memory task (more activation in non-AP musicians).Non-significant between-group trends were seen in the posterior IFG (more in AP musicians) and the IPL (more anterior activations in the non-AP group and more posterior activations in the AP group).

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Neurology, Music and Neuroimaging Laboratory, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, 02215, USA. kschulze@ich.ucl.ac.uk

ABSTRACT

Background: The perceptual-cognitive mechanisms and neural correlates of Absolute Pitch (AP) are not fully understood. The aim of this fMRI study was to examine the neural network underlying AP using a pitch memory experiment and contrasting two groups of musicians with each other, those that have AP and those that do not.

Results: We found a common activation pattern for both groups that included the superior temporal gyrus (STG) extending into the adjacent superior temporal sulcus (STS), the inferior parietal lobule (IPL) extending into the adjacent intraparietal sulcus (IPS), the posterior part of the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), the pre-supplementary motor area (pre-SMA), and superior lateral cerebellar regions. Significant between-group differences were seen in the left STS during the early encoding phase of the pitch memory task (more activation in AP musicians) and in the right superior parietal lobule (SPL)/intraparietal sulcus (IPS) during the early perceptual phase (ITP 0-3) and later working memory/multimodal encoding phase of the pitch memory task (more activation in non-AP musicians). Non-significant between-group trends were seen in the posterior IFG (more in AP musicians) and the IPL (more anterior activations in the non-AP group and more posterior activations in the AP group).

Conclusion: Since the increased activation of the left STS in AP musicians was observed during the early perceptual encoding phase and since the STS has been shown to be involved in categorization tasks, its activation might suggest that AP musicians involve categorization regions in tonal tasks. The increased activation of the right SPL/IPS in non-AP musicians indicates either an increased use of regions that are part of a tonal working memory (WM) network, or the use of a multimodal encoding strategy such as the utilization of a visual-spatial mapping scheme (i.e., imagining notes on a staff or using a spatial coding for their relative pitch height) for pitch information.

Show MeSH