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The effect of conditional probability of chord progression on brain response: an MEG study.

Kim SG, Kim JS, Chung CK - PLoS ONE (2011)

Bottom Line: The effect of conditional probability interacted with the effect of musical training.The current results suggest that the physiological response is a reflection of the probabilistic representations of the musical syntax.Moreover, the results indicate that the probabilistic representation is related to the musical training as well as the sensitivity of an individual.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Interdisciplinary Program in Cognitive Science, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.

ABSTRACT

Background: Recent electrophysiological and neuroimaging studies have explored how and where musical syntax in Western music is processed in the human brain. An inappropriate chord progression elicits an event-related potential (ERP) component called an early right anterior negativity (ERAN) or simply an early anterior negativity (EAN) in an early stage of processing the musical syntax. Though the possible underlying mechanism of the EAN is assumed to be probabilistic learning, the effect of the probability of chord progressions on the EAN response has not been previously explored explicitly.

Methodology/principal findings: In the present study, the empirical conditional probabilities in a Western music corpus were employed as an approximation of the frequencies in previous exposure of participants. Three types of chord progression were presented to musicians and non-musicians in order to examine the correlation between the probability of chord progression and the neuromagnetic response using magnetoencephalography (MEG). Chord progressions were found to elicit early responses in a negatively correlating fashion with the conditional probability. Observed EANm (as a magnetic counterpart of the EAN component) responses were consistent with the previously reported EAN responses in terms of latency and location. The effect of conditional probability interacted with the effect of musical training. In addition, the neural response also correlated with the behavioral measures in the non-musicians.

Conclusions/significance: Our study is the first to reveal the correlation between the probability of chord progression and the corresponding neuromagnetic response. The current results suggest that the physiological response is a reflection of the probabilistic representations of the musical syntax. Moreover, the results indicate that the probabilistic representation is related to the musical training as well as the sensitivity of an individual.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Illustrations of chord functions and sequences used.A. Chord functions in C major. B. Chord function sequences used in the present experiment. Conditions differ according to the ending chord function: tonic, submediant (SM) or supertonic (ST). Dom, Dominant.
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pone-0017337-g001: Illustrations of chord functions and sequences used.A. Chord functions in C major. B. Chord function sequences used in the present experiment. Conditions differ according to the ending chord function: tonic, submediant (SM) or supertonic (ST). Dom, Dominant.

Mentions: Recent electrophysiological and neuroimaging studies have explored how the musical syntax, particularly that of harmonic progression, in Western music is processed and which regions of the human brain are involved [1]. Koelsch and colleagues [2] have reported that the violation of the harmonic expectancy elicits a specific event-related potential (ERP) component called an early right anterior negativity (ERAN). An ERAN is a negative component that peaks between 150–210 msec after the irregular chord onset and that occurs predominantly in the right frontal region. An irregular chord, or ‘chord function’ in relation to the current key (Figure 1A), which evokes such a negativity can include notes out of the current key (such as Neapolitan sixth [2] or double dominant [3]) or only in-key notes (such as supertonic [3]). Modulating factors of the ERAN have been extensively investigated. The latency and amplitude of the ERAN differ by attention [4], prior short-term exposure [5], ages [1], and musical training [6], [7]. Especially for the effect of gender, in female participants, the early anterior negativity did not show right predominance but bilateral scalp distribution [8]. For this reason, in other studies [4], [9], [10], the negative ERP component elicited by irregular chords has been simply termed as early anterior negativity (EAN).


The effect of conditional probability of chord progression on brain response: an MEG study.

Kim SG, Kim JS, Chung CK - PLoS ONE (2011)

Illustrations of chord functions and sequences used.A. Chord functions in C major. B. Chord function sequences used in the present experiment. Conditions differ according to the ending chord function: tonic, submediant (SM) or supertonic (ST). Dom, Dominant.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3045443&req=5

pone-0017337-g001: Illustrations of chord functions and sequences used.A. Chord functions in C major. B. Chord function sequences used in the present experiment. Conditions differ according to the ending chord function: tonic, submediant (SM) or supertonic (ST). Dom, Dominant.
Mentions: Recent electrophysiological and neuroimaging studies have explored how the musical syntax, particularly that of harmonic progression, in Western music is processed and which regions of the human brain are involved [1]. Koelsch and colleagues [2] have reported that the violation of the harmonic expectancy elicits a specific event-related potential (ERP) component called an early right anterior negativity (ERAN). An ERAN is a negative component that peaks between 150–210 msec after the irregular chord onset and that occurs predominantly in the right frontal region. An irregular chord, or ‘chord function’ in relation to the current key (Figure 1A), which evokes such a negativity can include notes out of the current key (such as Neapolitan sixth [2] or double dominant [3]) or only in-key notes (such as supertonic [3]). Modulating factors of the ERAN have been extensively investigated. The latency and amplitude of the ERAN differ by attention [4], prior short-term exposure [5], ages [1], and musical training [6], [7]. Especially for the effect of gender, in female participants, the early anterior negativity did not show right predominance but bilateral scalp distribution [8]. For this reason, in other studies [4], [9], [10], the negative ERP component elicited by irregular chords has been simply termed as early anterior negativity (EAN).

Bottom Line: The effect of conditional probability interacted with the effect of musical training.The current results suggest that the physiological response is a reflection of the probabilistic representations of the musical syntax.Moreover, the results indicate that the probabilistic representation is related to the musical training as well as the sensitivity of an individual.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Interdisciplinary Program in Cognitive Science, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.

ABSTRACT

Background: Recent electrophysiological and neuroimaging studies have explored how and where musical syntax in Western music is processed in the human brain. An inappropriate chord progression elicits an event-related potential (ERP) component called an early right anterior negativity (ERAN) or simply an early anterior negativity (EAN) in an early stage of processing the musical syntax. Though the possible underlying mechanism of the EAN is assumed to be probabilistic learning, the effect of the probability of chord progressions on the EAN response has not been previously explored explicitly.

Methodology/principal findings: In the present study, the empirical conditional probabilities in a Western music corpus were employed as an approximation of the frequencies in previous exposure of participants. Three types of chord progression were presented to musicians and non-musicians in order to examine the correlation between the probability of chord progression and the neuromagnetic response using magnetoencephalography (MEG). Chord progressions were found to elicit early responses in a negatively correlating fashion with the conditional probability. Observed EANm (as a magnetic counterpart of the EAN component) responses were consistent with the previously reported EAN responses in terms of latency and location. The effect of conditional probability interacted with the effect of musical training. In addition, the neural response also correlated with the behavioral measures in the non-musicians.

Conclusions/significance: Our study is the first to reveal the correlation between the probability of chord progression and the corresponding neuromagnetic response. The current results suggest that the physiological response is a reflection of the probabilistic representations of the musical syntax. Moreover, the results indicate that the probabilistic representation is related to the musical training as well as the sensitivity of an individual.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus