[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
Re: memory for pitch
Dear Diana and others,
you wrote (Monday, May 22):
...... So at least where memory for the pitch of a
single tone is concerned, performance appears to be substantially
unrelated to rehearsal strategy, and appears to be the function of a
low-level system that has characteristics which are very similar to
the system that handles pitch information at the incoming level.
Your indications of a low-level system for the short-term memory of pitch is
further supported by musical practice and by results of research in
1) In music we experience consonance and dissonance not only for
simultaneous tones, but also for non-simultaneous ones. When comparing the
two series of tones C4-F4-A4-C5 and C4-F4-A4-C#5, the first one is perceived
as more consonant than the second. Today we further assume that this
sensitivity for "horizontal harmony" is due to the structure of the
mammalian auditory brain, because also monkeys have it (Wright et al.,
In order to explain the sensory interaction of non-simultaneous tones, some
kind of internal reverberation was suggested. Clearly, if the quality of
interaction depends on acoustic frequency ratios, the interaction must occur
at a level where neural signals still contain pitch-related periodicity
information. The highest level where this information is still present is
the auditory midbrain (colliculi inferiores).
2) Bob Zatorre and his team found in two positron emission tomographic
studies (1994, 1996) that imagination of pitch of musical tones led to a
significant activity increase also in the auditory midbrain (colliculi
Zatorre, R.J., Evans, A.C., Meyer, E., 1994. Neural mechanisms underlying
melodic perception and memory for pitch. J. Neurosci. 14, 1908-1919.
Zatorre, R.J., Halpern, A.R., Perry, D.W., Meyer, E., Evans, A.C., 1996.
Hearing in the mind's ear: A PET investigation of musical imagery and
perception. J. Cogn. Neurosci. 8, 29-46.
Wright, A.A., Rivera, J.J., Hulse, S.H., Shyan, M., Neiworth, J.J., 2000.
Music perception and octave generalization in rhesus monkeys. J. Exp.
Psychol. Gen. 129, 291-307.
[I wrote a short comment at: http://web.telia.com/~u57011259/Wright.htm ]
Neuroscience of Music
S-671 95 Klässbol
web site: http://w1.570.telia.com/~u57011259/index.htm