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The Cognitive Neuroscience of Music$
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Isabelle Peretz and Robert J. Zatorre

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780198525202

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198525202.001.0001

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A New Approach to the Cognitive Neuroscience of Melody

A New Approach to the Cognitive Neuroscience of Melody

Chapter:
(p.325) Chapter 21 A New Approach to the Cognitive Neuroscience of Melody
Source:
The Cognitive Neuroscience of Music
Author(s):

Aniruddh D. Patel

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198525202.003.0021

This chapter demonstrates the cognitive richness of melody perception. It also introduces a new method for the neural study of melody. It starts by presenting the thirteen ways of hearing a melody. It is shown that musical melodies are a prime example of ‘rich relations arising from modest means’, and as such are of considerable interest for aesthetic theory as well as for cognitive science. It then briefly outlines the different approaches to the neural study of melody and then reports a new technique for measuring cortical activity during the perception of melodies. Using the auditory steady-state response (aSSR) method, it is revealed that it is possible to extract a signal from the human cerebral cortex which reflects the pitch contour an individual is hearing. The dynamic imaging techniques also offer the opportunity to study how brain areas interact during perception.

Keywords:   cognitive neuroscience, melody, auditory steady-state response method, hearing, aesthetic theory, cerebral cortex, pitch contour, dynamic imaging

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