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Title: Investigating the Perception of Musical Form During Piano Using fMRI
Authors: Kushan, Maddy
Advisors: Hasson, Uri
Department: Neuroscience
Class Year: 2020
Abstract: Musical performance demands complex and precise sensorimotor integration. This unique requirement makes it an excellent model through which to explore the temporal dynamics of motor sequence learning in the brain. While lacking the precise semantics and grammatical rules of language, music tends to follow the formal and structural conventions of its genre. From a perceptual standpoint, listeners develop implicit schemas for musical expectancy based on their past listening experiences, which enable them to accurately predict musical events in familiar genres. Previous fMRI research investigating musical listening in individuals with similar musical backgrounds uses inter-subject correlational (ISC) analyses to reveal a shared topographical hierarchy based on temporal receptive windows in the brain. The present study investigated ISC in the perception of musical form during piano performance using fMRI while modulating auditory-feedback and disrupting structure via a scrambling paradigm. Results revealed higher ISC in higher-order brain areas for Intact stimuli compared to scrambled stimuli in subjects receiving auditory feedback. This finding supports the existence of a topographical hierarchy of processing timescales during performance similar to that of listening. Subjects receiving auditory feedback also showed an increase in ISC in higher-order brain areas across repetitions in the Listening condition while ISC in lower-order brain areas remained relatively consistent across repetitions. This finding could support the interaction between schematic and veridical expectancy developed across repeated listenings. Finally, investigating the role of local musical structure on ISC revealed that motif-presence corresponded to higher ISC in higher- order brain areas. Overall, these findings highlight the importance of auditory-motor integration in the shared neural dynamics involved in the perception of the time-course of musical performance.
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Neuroscience, 2017-2020

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