Brain waves associated with musical incongruities differ for musicians and non-musicians

  • Besson M
  • Faïta F
  • Requin J
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Abstract

Musicians and non-musicians were presented with short musical phrases that were either selected from the classical musical repertoire or composed for the experiment. The phrases terminated either in a congruous or a 'harmonically', 'melodically', or 'rhythmically' incongruous note. The brain waves produced by the end-notes differed greatly between musicians and non-musicians, and as a function of the subject's familiarity with the melodies and the type of incongruity. The timing of these brain waves revealed that musicians are faster than non-musicians in detecting incongruities. This study provides further neurophysiological evidence concerning the mechanisms underlying music perception and the differences between musical and linguistic processing. © 1994.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Event-related potential
  • Human
  • Language processing
  • Late positive component
  • Music processing
  • N400

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