Subject: Re: Brain and musicality From: gia_BERLIN <gia(at)SNAFU.DE> Date: Wed, 24 Oct 2001 10:35:39 +0200
Although the relation between musicality and absolute pitch is complicated, I'd like to quote some neurologocal brain studies about absolute pitch (AP) . [quote from: Zatorre, R. J., Perry, D. W., Beckett, C. A., Westbury, C. F., & Evans, A. C. (1998). Functional anatomy of musical processing in listeners with absolute pitch and relative pitch. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (U.S.A.), 95, 3172-3177. http://www.zlab.mcgill.ca/] ABSTRACT We used both structural and functional brain imaging techniques to investigate the neural basis of absolute pitch (AP), a specialized skill present in some musicians. By using positron emission tomography, we measured cerebral blood f low during the presentation of musical tones to AP possessors and to control musicians without AP. Listening to musical tones resulted in similar patterns of increased cerebral blood flow in auditory cortical areas in both groups, as expected. The AP group also demonstrated activation of the left posterior dorsolateral frontal cortex, an area thought to be related to learning conditional associations. However, a similar pattern of left dorsolateral frontal activity was also observed in non-AP subjects when they made relative pitch judgments of intervals, such as minor or major. Conversely, activity within the right inferior frontal cortex was observed in control but not in AP subjects during the interval-judgment task, suggesting that AP possessors need not access working memory mechanisms in this task. MRI measures of cortical volume indicated a larger left planum temporale in the AP group, which correlated with performance on an pitch-naming task. Our findings suggest that AP may not be associated with a unique pattern of cerebral activity but rather may depend on the recruitment of a specialized network involved in the retrieval and manipulation of verbal-tonal associations. [unquote] It seems that the activity in the right inferior frontal region, which is present only in the RP(relative pitch) group during the interval-judgment task, may reflect working memory mechanisms and musical intervals computation. AP possessors may not need access to this mechanism because they classify intervals by pitch-naming. Therefore, the following report is not a surprise for me. [quote from: Chi Chen, Andrea Halpern, Ben Bly, Robert Edelman, Gottfried Schlaug. (2000). Planum Temporale Asymmetry And Absolute Pitch. http://www.academicpress.com/www/journal/hbm2000/7233.html] The exaggerated PT(planum temporale) asymmetry in the AP group was mainly due to a significantly smaller right PT. [unquote] Tsai, Chen-Gia gia(at)snafu.de >Dear all, > >a student at our department wishes to write her seminar essay on the subject >"Brain and musicality". Could anyone suggest any references to articles or >book chapters she could use for the essay? > >Thanks in advance, >Sirpa.