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Re: mental planning for performance

Pun ita

I'm not aware of any specific singing literature, but a good general reference
on premovement planning is:

Passingham, R. (1993) The frontal lobes and voluntary action.
Oxford Psychology Series 21.   OUP.

There are many cells in prefrontal and premotor cortex and basal ganglia
that fire well in advance of movement.

There is also a copious literature on the role of the cerebellum in mental
See for example:

Miall et al (1993) Is the cerebellum a Smith Predictor? Journal of Motor
25, 203-216.

Decety et al (1990) The cerebellum participates in mental activity. Brain
535, 313-317.

This last paper shows that local blood flow rates to the cerebellum are
 increased if
one only thinks about making a movement sequence.

Further evidence for the role of the cerebellum in vocal planning comes from
with cerebellar ataxia caused by cerebellar lesions.

Ackermann et al (1994) Acoustic analysis of vocal instability in cerebellar
dysfunctions. Ann. Otol. Rhinol. Laryngol., 103, 98-104.

It may also be worth having a look at the literature on tonal spaces. E.g.

Shepard, R. (1983) Structural representations of musical pitch. In D. Deutsch
The psychology of music.

which I'm sure you are familar with. Given the spatial nature of these
I would guess a role for the parietal lobe, particularly since the parietal lobe
 is a
well established structure in sensory-guided action, communicating as it does
 with both
premotor cortex and the cerebellum.

Allen et al (1974) Cerebro-cerebellar communication systems. Physiological
 Reviews, 54,

Hope this is of help.


>Date:          Wed, 15 Apr 1998 03:01:43 PDT
>Reply-to:      Punita Singh <pgsingh@HOTMAIL.COM>
>From:          Punita Singh <pgsingh@HOTMAIL.COM>
>Subject:       mental planning for performance
>X-To:          Auditory@vm1.MCGILL.CA
>To:            Multiple recipients of list AUDITORY <AUDITORY@VM1.MCGILL.CA>
>Dear List,
>Can anyone help me find out more about the neuropsychological  processes
>active in the moments before a performer sings, whistles or plays a
>melody on an instrument with no pitch demarcations (e.g. frets /keys).
>Without the aid of such pitch markers, how does the performer plan motor
>processes to exactly hit the right note ?
>Should I be looking into auditory memory and imagery literature?
>Anything out there in the neuroscience or singing research world?
>Thanks in advance for pitching in with anything noteworthy !
>Pun ita
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