Koelsch, S., Schröger, E., & Gunter, T. C. (2002). Music matters: preattentive musicality of the human brain. Psychophysiology, 39(1), 38-48.

Music matters: preattentive musicality of the human brain

During listening to a musical piece, unexpected harmonies may evoke brain responses that are reflected electrically as an early right anterior negativity (ERAN) and a late frontal negativity (N5). In the present study we demonstrate that these components of the event-related potential can be evoked preattentively, that is, even when a musical stimulus is ignored. Both ERAN and N5 differed in amplitude as a function of music-theoretical principles. Participants had no special musical expertise; results thus provide evidence for an automatic processing of musical information in onmusicians."


Cognitive and Biological Psychology

University of Leipzig
Faculty of Life Sciences
Institute of Psychology
Neumarkt 9-19
D-04109 Leipzig


Dagmar Schrödl
Phone: +49 341 97-39570
Email: dagmar dot schroedl at uni-leipzig dot de

Fax: +49 341 97-39271