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Irene Gratton, Maria A Brandimonte, Nicola Bruno
The ability to remember tempo (the perceived frequency of musical pulse) without external references may be defined, by analogy with the notion of absolute pitch, as absolute tempo (AT). Anecdotal reports and sparse empirical evidence suggest that at least some individuals possess AT. However, to our knowledge, no systematic assessments of AT have been performed using laboratory tasks comparable to those assessing absolute pitch. In the present study, we operationalize AT as the ability to identify and reproduce tempo in the absence of rhythmic or melodic frames of reference and assess these abilities in musically trained and untrained participants...
2016: PloS One
Alexander P Demos, Tânia Lisboa, Roger Chaffin
Performances by soloists in the Western classical tradition are normally highly prepared, yet must sound fresh and spontaneous. How do musicians manage this? We tested the hypothesis that they achieve the necessary spontaneity by varying the musical gestures that express their interpretation of a piece. We examined the tempo arches produced by final slowing at the ends of phrases in performances of J. S. Bach's No. 6 (Prelude) for solo cello (12 performances) and the Italian Concerto (Presto) for solo piano (eight performances)...
2016: Frontiers in Psychology
Bhim Mani Adhikari, Martin Norgaard, Kristen M Quinn, Jenine Ampudia, Justin Squirek, Mukesh Dhamala
Musical improvisation offers an excellent experimental paradigm for the study of real-time human creativity. It involves moment-to-moment decision-making, monitoring of one's performance, and utilizing external feedback to spontaneously create new melodies or variations on a melody. Recent neuroimaging studies have begun to study the brain activity during musical improvisation, aiming to unlock the mystery of human creativity. What brain resources come together and how these are utilized during musical improvisation is not well understood...
October 18, 2016: Brain Connectivity
Elena Antonelli, Laura Vagnoli, Enrica Ciucci, Chiara Vernucci, Federica Lachi, Andrea Messeri
OBJECTIVES: The majority of children and adolescents presenting to the emergency department are in pain and require painful procedures. This randomized study was to investigate the efficacy of 3 different nonpharmacologic interventions (clowns, dogs, and musicians) to reduce pain and analyze the perception of positive and negative affects after the presence of these activities in a short-stay observation unit (SSOU). METHODS: Participants were composed of 105 children (54 boys and 51 girls; aged 3-16 years) assigned randomly to an experimental group (N = 57) that was composed of patients who were present in the SSOU...
October 4, 2016: Pediatric Emergency Care
Gareth T Jones, Elizabeth A Jones, Marcus J Beasley, Gary J Macfarlane
The generalisability of randomised controlled trials will be compromised if markers of treatment outcome also affect trial recruitment. In a large trial of chronic widespread pain (CWP), we aimed to determine the extent to which randomised participants represented eligible patients, and whether factors predicting randomisation also influenced trial outcome. Adults from eight UK general practices were surveyed to determine eligibility for a trial of two interventions (exercise, and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT))...
September 29, 2016: Pain
Prawin Kumar, Himanshu Kumar Sanju, J Nikhil
Introduction Enhanced auditory perception in musicians is likely to result from auditory perceptual learning during several years of training and practice. Many studies have focused on biological processing of auditory stimuli among musicians. However, there is a lack of literature on temporal resolution and active auditory discrimination skills in vocal musicians. Objective The aim of the present study is to assess temporal resolution and active auditory discrimination skill in vocal musicians. Method The study participants included 15 vocal musicians with a minimum professional experience of 5 years of music exposure, within the age range of 20 to 30 years old, as the experimental group, while 15 age-matched non-musicians served as the control group...
October 2016: International Archives of Otorhinolaryngology
Sibylla Wolter, Carolin Dudschig, Barbara Kaup
This study explored differences between pianists and non-musicians during reading of sentences describing high- or low-pitched auditory events. Based on the embodied model of language comprehension, it was hypothesized that the experience of playing the piano encourages a corresponding association between high-pitched sounds and the right and low-pitched sounds and the left. This pitch-space association is assumed to become elicited during understanding of sentences describing either a high- or low-pitched auditory event...
October 12, 2016: Psychological Research
Niels Chr Hansen, Peter Vuust, Marcus Pearce
Musical expertise entails meticulous stylistic specialisation and enculturation. Even so, research on musical training effects has focused on generalised comparisons between musicians and non-musicians, and cross-cultural work addressing specialised expertise has traded cultural specificity and sensitivity for other methodological limitations. This study aimed to experimentally dissociate the effects of specialised stylistic training and general musical expertise on the perception of melodies. Non-musicians and professional musicians specialising in classical music or jazz listened to sampled renditions of saxophone solos improvised by Charlie Parker in the bebop style...
2016: PloS One
Christos I Ioannou, Shinichi Furuya, Eckart Altenmüller
Five musicians suffering from focal dystonia participated in a pilot study that examined the feasibility of an experimental protocol designed to assess musicians' motor performance under stress. Electrocardiography, free cortisol levels, and subjective assessments were used to monitor alterations of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. As measures of motor outcome, temporal variability of finger movements and muscular cocontraction of the wrist flexor and extensor were assessed. Findings suggest that the specific experimental design could be successfully applied...
August 11, 2016: Journal of Motor Behavior
Romain Grandchamp, Arnaud Delorme
Recent theoretical and technological advances in neuroimaging techniques now allow brain electrical activity to be recorded using affordable and user-friendly equipment for nonscientist end-users. An increasing number of educators and artists have begun using electroencephalogram (EEG) to control multimedia and live artistic contents. In this paper, we introduce a new concept based on brain computer interface (BCI) technologies: the Brainarium. The Brainarium is a new pedagogical and artistic tool, which can deliver and illustrate scientific knowledge, as well as a new framework for scientific exploration...
2016: Computational Intelligence and Neuroscience
Matthias Hartmann
The spatial representation of ordinal sequences (numbers, time, tones) seems to be a fundamental cognitive property. While an automatic association between horizontal space and pitch height (left-low pitch, right-high pitch) is constantly reported in musicians, the evidence for such an association in non-musicians is mixed. In this study, 20 non-musicians performed a line bisection task while listening to irrelevant high- and low-pitched tones and white noise (control condition). While pitch height had no influence on the final bisection point, participants' movement trajectories showed systematic biases: When approaching the line and touching the line for the first time (initial bisection point), the mouse cursor was directed more rightward for high-pitched tones compared to low-pitched tones and noise...
September 30, 2016: Cognitive Processing
Christopher J Demaree, Kevin Wang, Peter H Lin
Thoracic outlet syndrome, a condition due to neurovascular compression in the upper shoulder region, can be caused by chronic repetitive activity of the upper extremities. Studies have linked upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders to high-performance musicians who play bowed string instruments such as the violin or viola. We report herein a case series of five elite musicians, including three violinists and two violaists, who developed neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome following years of intense practice...
September 30, 2016: Vascular
Roberto Erro, Stephanie T Hirschbichler, Lucia Ricciardi, Agata Ryterska, Elena Antelmi, Christos Ganos, Carla Cordivari, Michele Tinazzi, Mark J Edwards, Kailash P Bhatia
BACKGROUND: Mental rotation of body parts engages cortical-subcortical areas that are actually involved in the execution of a movement. Musicians' dystonia is a type of focal hand dystonia that is grouped together with writer's cramp under the rubric of "occupational dystonia", but it is unclear to which extent these two disorders share common pathophysiological mechanisms. Previous research has demonstrated patients with writer's cramp to have deficits in mental rotation of body parts...
September 28, 2016: Brain and Cognition
Daniel J Levitin, Scott T Grafton
Functional brain imaging has revealed much about the neuroanatomical substrates of higher cognition, including music, language, learning, and memory. The technique lends itself to studying of groups of individuals. In contrast, the nature of expert performance is typically studied through the examination of exceptional individuals using behavioral case studies and retrospective biography. Here, we combined fMRI and the study of an individual who is a world-class expert musician and composer in order to better understand the neural underpinnings of his music perception and cognition, in particular, his mental representations for music...
August 12, 2016: Neurocase
Carlotta Lega, Marianne A Stephan, Robert J Zatorre, Virginia Penhune
Interactions between the auditory and the motor systems are critical in music as well as in other domains, such as speech. The premotor cortex, specifically the dorsal premotor cortex (dPMC), seems to play a key role in auditory-motor integration, and in mapping the association between a sound and the movement used to produce it. In the present studies we tested the causal role of the dPMC in learning and applying auditory-motor associations using 1 Hz repetitive Transcranical Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS). In this paradigm, non-musicians learn a set of auditory-motor associations through melody training in two contexts: first when the sound to key-press mapping was in a conventional sequential order (low to high tones mapped onto keys from left to right), and then when it was in a novel scrambled order...
2016: PloS One
Johannes L Hatfield
The purpose of the present mixed method study was to investigate personal benefits, perceptions, and the effect of a 15-week sport psychological skills training program adapted for musicians. The program was individually tailored for six music performance students with the objective of facilitating the participants' instrumental practice and performance. The participants learnt techniques such as goal setting, attentional focus, arousal regulation, imagery, and acceptance training/self-talk. Zimmerman's (1989) cyclical model of self-regulated learning was applied as a theoretical frame for the intervention...
2016: Frontiers in Psychology
Aniruddh D Patel, Emily Morgan
The online processing of both music and language involves making predictions about upcoming material, but the relationship between prediction in these two domains is not well understood. Electrophysiological methods for studying individual differences in prediction in language processing have opened the door to new questions. Specifically, we ask whether individuals with musical training predict upcoming linguistic material more strongly and/or more accurately than non-musicians. We propose two reasons why prediction in these two domains might be linked: (a) Musicians may have greater verbal short-term/working memory; (b) music may specifically reward predictions based on hierarchical structure...
September 25, 2016: Cognitive Science
Jingjing Zhang, Cunmei Jiang, Linshu Zhou, Yufang Yang
Hierarchical structure with units of different timescales is a key feature of music. For the perception of such structures, the detection of each boundary is crucial. Here, using electroencephalography (EEG), we explore the perception of hierarchical boundaries in music, and test whether musical expertise modifies such processing. Musicians and non-musicians were presented with musical excerpts containing boundaries at three hierarchical levels, including section, phrase and period boundaries. Non-boundary was chosen as a baseline condition...
September 19, 2016: Neuropsychologia
Dianna T Kenny, Stephen Arthey, Allan Abbass
INTRODUCTION: Kenny has proposed that severe music performance anxiety that is unresponsive to usual treatments such as cognitive-behaviour therapy may be one manifestation of unresolved attachment ruptures in early life. Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy specifically targets early relationship trauma. Accordingly, a trial of Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy with severely anxious musicians was implemented to assess whether resolution of attachment ruptures resulted in clinically significant relief from music performance anxiety...
2016: SpringerPlus
L Williams, E McGovern, O Kimmich, A Molloy, I Beiser, J S Butler, F Molloy, P Logan, D G Healy, T Lynch, R Walsh, L Cassidy, P Moriarty, H Moore, T McSwiney, C Walsh, S O'Riordan, M Hutchinson
BACKGROUND: Adult onset idiopathic isolated focal dystonia presents with a number of phenotypes. Reported prevalence rates vary considerably; well-characterized cohorts are important to our understanding of this disorder. AIM: To perform a nationwide epidemiological study of adult onset idiopathic isolated focal dystonia in the Republic of Ireland. METHODS: Patients with adult onset idiopathic isolated focal dystonia were recruited from multiple sources...
September 19, 2016: European Journal of Neurology: the Official Journal of the European Federation of Neurological Societies
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