The effects of supervised learning on event-related potential correlates of music-syntactic processing

Guo, Shuang and Koelsch, Stefan (2015) The effects of supervised learning on event-related potential correlates of music-syntactic processing. Brain Research, 1626. pp. 232-246. ISSN 0006-8993

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Humans process music even without conscious effort according to implicit knowledge about syntactic regularities. Whether such automatic and implicit processing is modulated by veridical knowledge has remained unknown in previous neurophysiological studies. This study investigates this issue by testing whether the acquisition of veridical knowledge of a music-syntactic irregularity (acquired through supervised learning) modulates early, partly automatic, music-syntactic processes (as reflected in the early right anterior negativity, ERAN), and/or late controlled processes (as reflected in the late positive component, LPC). Excerpts of piano sonatas with syntactically regular and less regular chords were presented repeatedly (10 times) to non-musicians and amateur musicians. Participants were informed by a cue as to whether the following excerpt contained a regular or less regular chord. Results showed that the repeated exposure to several presentations of regular and less regular excerpts did not influence the ERAN elicited by less regular chords. By contrast, amplitudes of the LPC (as well as of the P3a evoked by less regular chords) decreased systematically across learning trials. These results reveal that late controlled, but not early (partly automatic), neural mechanisms of music-syntactic processing are modulated by repeated exposure to a musical piece. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Prediction and Attention.

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Journal Article
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Brain Research
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31 Jul 2015 10:48
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22 Nov 2022 01:47