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Electrical Brain Responses Reveal Sequential Constraints on Planning during Music Performance

1
Department of Psychology, McGill University, Montreal, QC H3A 1B1, Canada
2
Research Group Neural Mechanisms of Human Communication, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, 04103 Leipzig, Germany
3
Department of Psychology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Brain Sci. 2019, 9(2), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci9020025
Received: 11 January 2019 / Revised: 21 January 2019 / Accepted: 26 January 2019 / Published: 28 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Neurocognition of Music and Language)
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Abstract

Elements in speech and music unfold sequentially over time. To produce sentences and melodies quickly and accurately, individuals must plan upcoming sequence events, as well as monitor outcomes via auditory feedback. We investigated the neural correlates of sequential planning and monitoring processes by manipulating auditory feedback during music performance. Pianists performed isochronous melodies from memory at an initially cued rate while their electroencephalogram was recorded. Pitch feedback was occasionally altered to match either an immediately upcoming Near-Future pitch (next sequence event) or a more distant Far-Future pitch (two events ahead of the current event). Near-Future, but not Far-Future altered feedback perturbed the timing of pianists’ performances, suggesting greater interference of Near-Future sequential events with current planning processes. Near-Future feedback triggered a greater reduction in auditory sensory suppression (enhanced response) than Far-Future feedback, reflected in the P2 component elicited by the pitch event following the unexpected pitch change. Greater timing perturbations were associated with enhanced cortical sensory processing of the pitch event following the Near-Future altered feedback. Both types of feedback alterations elicited feedback-related negativity (FRN) and P3a potentials and amplified spectral power in the theta frequency range. These findings suggest similar constraints on producers’ sequential planning to those reported in speech production. View Full-Text
Keywords: sensorimotor learning; sequence production; sequence planning; feedback monitoring; EEG; N1; FRN; music performance; music cognition; altered auditory feedback sensorimotor learning; sequence production; sequence planning; feedback monitoring; EEG; N1; FRN; music performance; music cognition; altered auditory feedback
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Mathias, B.; Gehring, W.J.; Palmer, C. Electrical Brain Responses Reveal Sequential Constraints on Planning during Music Performance. Brain Sci. 2019, 9, 25.

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