Segmenting and predicting musical phrase structure exploits neural gain modulation and phase precession

  • Music, like language, is characterized by hierarchically organized structure that unfolds over time. Music listening therefore requires not only the tracking of notes and beats but also internally constructing high-level musical structures or phrases and anticipating incoming contents. Unlike for language, mechanistic evidence for online musical segmentation and prediction at a structural level is sparse. We recorded neurophysiological data from participants listening to music in its original forms as well as in manipulated versions with locally or globally reversed harmonic structures. We discovered a low-frequency neural component that modulated the neural rhythms of beat tracking and reliably parsed musical phrases. We next identified phrasal phase precession, suggesting that listeners established structural predictions from ongoing listening experience to track phrasal boundaries. The data point to brain mechanisms that listeners use to segment continuous music at the phrasal level and to predict abstract structural features of music.

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Author:Xiangbin TengORCiD, Pauline Larrouy-MaestriORCiDGND, David PoeppelORCiDGND
Parent Title (English):bioRxiv
Document Type:Preprint
Date of Publication (online):2021/07/18
Date of first Publication:2021/07/15
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2023/04/18
Page Number:70
Institutes:Angeschlossene und kooperierende Institutionen / MPI für empirische Ästhetik
Dewey Decimal Classification:1 Philosophie und Psychologie / 15 Psychologie / 150 Psychologie
7 Künste und Unterhaltung / 78 Musik / 780 Musik
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY-NC-ND - Namensnennung - Nicht kommerziell - Keine Bearbeitungen 4.0 International