Importance of the left auditory areas in chord discrimination in music experts as demonstrated by MEG

Mari Tervaniemi, Christian Sannemann, Maiju Noyranen, Johanna Salonen, Elina Maria Pihko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

The brain basis behind musical competence in its various forms is not yet known. To determine the pattern of hemispheric lateralization during sound-change discrimination, we recorded the magnetic counterpart of the electrical mismatch negativity (MMNm) responses in professional musicians, musical participants (with high scores in the musicality tests but without professional training in music) and non-musicians. While watching a silenced video, they were presented with short sounds with frequency and duration deviants and C major chords with C minor chords as deviants. MMNm to chord deviants was stronger in both musicians and musical participants than in non-musicians, particularly in their left hemisphere. No group differences were obtained in the MMNm strength in the right hemisphere in any of the conditions or in the left hemisphere in the case of frequency or duration deviants. Thus, in addition to professional training in music, musical aptitude (combined with lower-level musical training) is also reflected in brain functioning related to sound discrimination. The present magnetoencephalographic evidence therefore indicates that the sound discrimination abilities may be differentially distributed in the brain in musically competent and naïve participants, especially in a musical context established by chord stimuli: the higher forms of musical competence engage both auditory cortices in an integrative manner.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Neuroscience
Volume34
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)517-523
Number of pages7
ISSN0953-816X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • event-related magnetic fields (ERF)
  • magnetoencephalography (MEG)
  • mismatch negativity (MMN)
  • musical expertise
  • musicality
  • MISMATCH NEGATIVITY MMN
  • CORTICAL REPRESENTATION
  • LANGUAGE EXPERIENCE
  • BRAIN
  • SPEECH
  • CORTEX
  • LATERALIZATION
  • NONMUSICIANS
  • DOMINANCE
  • DURATION
  • 3112 Neurosciences

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