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

Bianco, R; Gold, BP; Johnson, AP; Penhune, VB; (2019) Music predictability and liking enhance pupil dilation and promote motor learning in non-musicians. Scientific Reports , 9 , Article 17060. 10.1038/s41598-019-53510-w. Green open access

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Abstract

Humans can anticipate music and derive pleasure from it. Expectations facilitate the learning of movements associated with anticipated events, and they are also linked with reward, which may further 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 rather 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 highlight the effects of stimuli predictability on learning, which can be however overshadowed by the effects of stimulus liking or task-related intrinsic motivation.

Type: Article
Title: Music predictability and liking enhance pupil dilation and promote motor learning in non-musicians
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-53510-w
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-53510-w
Language: English
Additional information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Keywords: Health care, Learning and memory
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/10087105
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