A neurophysiological study into the foundations of tonal harmony.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Our findings provide magnetoencephalographic evidence that the mismatch-negativity response to two-note chords (dyads) is modulated by a combination of abstract cognitive differences and lower-level differences in the auditory signal. Participants were presented with series of simple-ratio sinusoidal dyads (perfect fourths and perfect fifths) in which the difference between the standard and deviant dyad exhibited an interval change, a shift in pitch space, or both. In addition, the standard-deviant pair of dyads either shared one note or both notes were changed. Only the condition that featured both abstract changes (interval change and pitch-space shift) and two novel notes showed a significantly larger magnetoencephalographic mismatch-negativity response than the other conditions in the right hemisphere. Implications for music and language processing are discussed.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Bergelson, E; Idsardi, WJ

Published Date

  • February 2009

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 20 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 239 - 244

PubMed ID

  • 19444945

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC5891320

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1473-558X

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0959-4965

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1097/wnr.0b013e32831ddebf


  • eng