Postersession 2
Poster #: 89
Topic: Music
Thursday, Sep 10, 2015
1st floor

Effects of active vs. passive exposure to a musical style: a MMN study with the musical multifeature paradigm

Marina Kliuchko1, Peter Vuust2, Petri Toiviainen3, Mari Tervaniemi4, Brigitte Bogert5, & Elvira Brattico6

1Cognitive Brain Reserach Unit, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
2Centre of Functionally Integrative Neuroscience, Aarhus University Hospital & Royal Academy of Music, Aarhus, Denmark
3Department of Music, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland
4Institute of Behavioural Sciences, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
5Cognitive Brain Research Unit, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
6Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland

The perceptual and neural discriminatory accuracy for musical sound features in musicians seems to be selectively influenced by the cognitive strategies used in practicing an instrument as well as by the stylistic features of the practiced music. In present study, we aimed to investigate the neural effects of preference for practicing or merely listening to a musical style on auditory discrimination in a large sample of subjects. We recorded MEEG data of 110 subjects assigned to five groups depending on their musical expertise and musical style practiced (assessed with questionnaires): non-musicians, amateur musicians, rock/pop musicians, jazz musicians, and classical musicians. Subjects were presented with the no-standard multi-feature paradigm, which measures in a short time six different mismatch negativity (MMN) responses to sound feature changes inserted in a musical context. Results confirmed previous findings of enhanced MMN responses to musical feature changes in musicians as compared to non-musicians and amateurs. Furthermore, musicians differed from each other in neural discrimination of pitch, pitch sliding and timbre changes depending on the musical style they practiced. In turn, non-musicians and amateurs who preferred to listen to jazz music and were familiar with it showed smaller MMN to pitch sliding, which is a jazz-specific sound feature. The reversed pattern (enhanced MMN to slide) was obtained in professional jazz musicians. Our results suggest that actively practicing a musical style by regular playing an instrument is crucial for developing functional adaptation to the sound features of the preferred music, in contrast to just listening to it.