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mental planning for hitting the right note

Dear List,

-- surprisingly little information has turned up regarding the question
I had posted about the processes involved in producing intended pitches.
The following references were given.   I am posting them here for anyone
interested in following up on this.
--- Punita

Original question:  posted April 14, 1998
>Dear List,
> Can anyone help me find out more about the neuropsychological
> 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
> 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

From: "August Schick" <SCHICK@psychologie.uni-oldenburg.de>
To: pgsingh@HOTMAIL.COM
Date:          Wed, 15 Apr 1998 12:41:48 MET
Subject:       Re: mental planning for performance

dear colleague, ask Professor Dr. Gisela Rohmert in Darmstadt or
Professor Dr. Scherer in Geneva or the Institute for Music Medicine
in Hannover
 August Schick

From: nicolas <nicolas@aku.physik.uni-oldenburg.de>
Date: Fri, 17 Apr 1998 17:43:42 +0200

Hi Punita,
I think you can ask this directly to Dr. Dietrich Parlitz
Email=parlitz@hmt-hannover.de) if he does not have already contacted
you: he's
always working in this field I think.

From:          "Neil Todd" <TODD@fs4.psy.man.ac.uk
Date:          Mon, 20 Apr 1998 12:29:54 GMT
Subject:       Re: mental planning for performance

Pun ita

I'm not aware of any specific singing literature, but a good general
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 planning.
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 Research,
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 patients
with cerebellar ataxia caused by cerebellar lesions.

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

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

Shepard, R. (1983) Structural representations of musical pitch. In D.
Deutsch (ed)
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,

Platel et al (1997) Brain 120, 229-243.

Hope this is of help.


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