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Midbrain adaptation may set the stage for the perception of musical beat

Rajendran, VG; Harper, NS; Garcia-Lazaro, JA; Lesica, NA; Schnupp, JWH; (2017) Midbrain adaptation may set the stage for the perception of musical beat. Proceedings of The Royal Society B - Biological Sciences , 284 (1866) 10.1098/rspb.2017.1455. Green open access

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Abstract

The ability to spontaneously feel a beat in music is a phenomenon widely believed to be unique to humans. Though beat perception involves the coordinated engagement of sensory, motor and cognitive processes in humans, the contribution of low-level auditory processing to the activation of these networks in a beat-specific manner is poorly understood. Here, we present evidence from a rodent model that midbrain preprocessing of sounds may already be shaping where the beat is ultimately felt. For the tested set of musical rhythms, on-beat sounds on average evoked higher firing rates than off-beat sounds, and this difference was a defining feature of the set of beat interpretations most commonly perceived by human listeners over others. Basic firing rate adaptation provided a sufficient explanation for these results. Our findings suggest that midbrain adaptation, by encoding the temporal context of sounds, creates points of neural emphasis that may influence the perceptual emergence of a beat.

Type: Article
Title: Midbrain adaptation may set the stage for the perception of musical beat
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2017.1455
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2017.1455
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: Science & Technology, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Biology, Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences & Biomedicine - Other Topics, Environmental Sciences & Ecology, beat, rhythm, electrophysiology, psychophysics, temporal processing, perception, INFERIOR COLLICULUS, NEURONAL ENTRAINMENT, BASAL GANGLIA, SEQUENCES, DYNAMICS, RHYTHM, REPRESENTATION, STATISTICS, RESPONSES, MONKEY
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > The Ear Institute
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10039973
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