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      Decomposing neural responses to melodic surprise in musicians and non-musicians: Evidence for a hierarchy of predictions in the auditory system.

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          Abstract

          Neural responses to auditory surprise are typically studied with highly unexpected, disruptive sounds. Consequently, little is known about auditory prediction in everyday contexts that are characterized by fine-grained, non-disruptive fluctuations of auditory surprise. To address this issue, we used IDyOM, a computational model of auditory expectation, to obtain continuous surprise estimates for a set of newly composed melodies. Our main goal was to assess whether the neural correlates of non-disruptive surprising sounds in a musical context are affected by musical expertise. Using magnetoencephalography (MEG), auditory responses were recorded from musicians and non-musicians while they listened to the melodies. Consistent with a previous study, the amplitude of the N1m component increased with higher levels of computationally estimated surprise. This effect, however, was not different between the two groups. Further analyses offered an explanation for this finding: Pitch interval size itself, rather than probabilistic prediction, was responsible for the modulation of the N1m, thus pointing to low-level sensory adaptation as the underlying mechanism. In turn, the formation of auditory regularities and proper probabilistic prediction were reflected in later components: The mismatch negativity (MMNm) and the P3am, respectively. Overall, our findings reveal a hierarchy of expectations in the auditory system and highlight the need to properly account for sensory adaptation in research addressing statistical learning.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Neuroimage
          NeuroImage
          Elsevier BV
          1095-9572
          1053-8119
          July 15 2020
          : 215
          Affiliations
          [1 ] Center for Music in the Brain, Aarhus University & The Royal Academy of Music, Denmark. Electronic address: dquiroga@clin.au.dk.
          [2 ] The MARCS Institute for Brain, Behaviour and Development, Western Sydney University, Australia; Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies (AIAS), Aarhus University, Denmark.
          [3 ] Center of Functionally Integrative Neuroscience, Aarhus University, Denmark.
          [4 ] Center for Music in the Brain, Aarhus University & The Royal Academy of Music, Denmark; School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science, Queen Mary University of London, UK.
          [5 ] Center for Music in the Brain, Aarhus University & The Royal Academy of Music, Denmark; Department of Educational Sciences, Psychology and Communication, University of Bari Aldo Moro, Italy.
          [6 ] Center for Music in the Brain, Aarhus University & The Royal Academy of Music, Denmark.
          Article
          S1053-8119(20)30303-7
          10.1016/j.neuroimage.2020.116816
          32276064
          4cf626f1-035c-4f65-bb6f-cf936f1ae8d9
          History

          Surprise,Music,Hierarchy,IDyOM,Prediction
          Surprise, Music, Hierarchy, IDyOM, Prediction

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