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Statistical learning of music- and language-like sequences and tolerance for spectral shifts

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Citation

Daikoku, T., Yatomi, Y., & Yumoto, M. (2015). Statistical learning of music- and language-like sequences and tolerance for spectral shifts. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 118, 8-19. doi:10.1016/j.nlm.2014.11.001.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002C-0DC7-8
Abstract
In our previous study (Daikoku, Yatomi, & Yumoto, 2014), we demonstrated that the N1m response could be a marker for the statistical learning process of pitch sequence, in which each tone was ordered by a Markov stochastic model. The aim of the present study was to investigate how the statistical learning of music- and language-like auditory sequences is reflected in the N1m responses based on the assumption that both language and music share domain generality. By using vowel sounds generated by a formant synthesizer, we devised music- and language-like auditory sequences in which higher-ordered transitional rules were embedded according to a Markov stochastic model by controlling fundamental (F0) and/or formant frequencies (F1–F2). In each sequence, F0 and/or F1–F2 were spectrally shifted in the last one-third of the tone sequence. Neuromagnetic responses to the tone sequences were recorded from 14 right-handed normal volunteers. In the music- and language-like sequences with pitch change, the N1m responses to the tones that appeared with higher transitional probability were significantly decreased compared with the responses to the tones that appeared with lower transitional probability within the first two-thirds of each sequence. Moreover, the amplitude difference was even retained within the last one-third of the sequence after the spectral shifts. However, in the language-like sequence without pitch change, no significant difference could be detected. The pitch change may facilitate the statistical learning in language and music. Statistically acquired knowledge may be appropriated to process altered auditory sequences with spectral shifts. The relative processing of spectral sequences may be a domain-general auditory mechanism that is innate to humans.