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Culture Modulates the Brain Response to Harmonic Violations: An EEG Study on Hierarchical Syntactic Structure in Music

Abstract : We investigated the role of culture in processing hierarchical syntactic structures in music. We examined whether violation of non-local dependencies manifest in event related potentials (ERP) for Western and Iranian excerpts by recording EEG while participants passively listened to sequences of modified/original excerpts. We also investigated oscillatory and synchronization properties of brain responses during processing of hierarchical structures. For the Western excerpt, subjective ratings of conclusiveness were marginally significant and the difference in the ERP components fell short of significance. However, ERP and behavioral results showed that while listening to culturally familiar music, subjects comprehended whether or not the hierarchical syntactic structure was fulfilled. Irregularities in the hierarchical structures of the Iranian excerpt elicited an early negativity in the central regions bilaterally, followed by two later negativities from 450-700 to 750-950 ms. The latter manifested throughout the scalp. Moreover, violations of hierarchical structure in the Iranian excerpt were associated with (i) an early decrease in the long range alpha phase synchronization, (ii) an early increase in the oscillatory activity in the beta band over the central areas, and (iii) a late decrease in the theta band phase synchrony between left anterior and right posterior regions. Results suggest that rhythmic structures and melodic fragments, representative of Iranian music, created a familiar context in which recognition of complex non-local syntactic structures was feasible for Iranian listeners. Processing of neural responses to the Iranian excerpt indicated neural mechanisms for processing of hierarchical syntactic structures in music at different levels of cortical integration.
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Soumis le : jeudi 10 mars 2022 - 14:47:13
Dernière modification le : mercredi 24 août 2022 - 11:14:25

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Haleh Akrami, Sahar Moghimi. Culture Modulates the Brain Response to Harmonic Violations: An EEG Study on Hierarchical Syntactic Structure in Music. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, Frontiers, 2017, 11, ⟨10.3389/fnhum.2017.00591⟩. ⟨hal-03604524⟩



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