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      Music predictability and liking enhance pupil dilation and promote motor learning in non-musicians

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      bioRxiv

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          Abstract

          Humans can anticipate music and derive pleasure from it. Expectations facilitate movements associated with anticipated events, and they are linked with reward, which may also facilitate learning of the anticipated rewarding events. The present study investigates the synergistic effects of predictability and hedonic responses to music on arousal and motor-learning in a naïve population. Novel melodies were manipulated in their overall predictability (predictable/unpredictable) as objectively defined by a model of music expectation, and ranked as high/medium/low liked based on participants’ self-reports collected during an initial listening session. During this session, we also recorded ocular pupil size as an implicit measure of listeners’ arousal. During the following motor task, participants learned to play target notes of the melodies on a keyboard (notes were of similar motor and musical complexity across melodies). Pupil dilation was greater for liked melodies, particularly when predictable. Motor performance was facilitated in predictable more than unpredictable melodies, but liked melodies were learned even in the unpredictable condition. Low-liked melodies also showed learning but mostly in participants with higher scores of task perceived competence. Taken together, these results suggest that effects of predictability on learning can be overshadowed by effects of stimulus liking or task-related intrinsic motivation.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          bioRxiv
          October 21 2019
          Article
          10.1101/812834
          © 2019
          Product

          Molecular medicine, Neurosciences

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