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Pupil responses to pitch deviants reflect predictability of melodic sequences

Bianco, R; Ptasczynski, LE; Omigie, D; (2020) Pupil responses to pitch deviants reflect predictability of melodic sequences. Brain and Cognition , 138 , Article 103621. 10.1016/j.bandc.2019.103621. Green open access

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Abstract

Humans automatically detect events that, in deviating from their expectations, may signal prediction failure and a need to reorient behaviour. The pupil dilation response (PDR) to violations has been associated with subcortical signals of arousal and prediction resetting. However, it is unclear how the context in which a deviant occurs affects the size of the PDR. Using ecological musical stimuli that we characterised using a computational model, we showed that the PDR to pitch deviants is sensitive to contextual uncertainty (quantified as entropy), whereby the PDR was greater in low than high entropy contexts. The PDR was also positively correlated with the unexpectedness of notes. No effects of music expertise were found, suggesting a ceiling effect due to enculturation. These results show that the same sudden environmental change can lead to differing arousal levels depending on contextual factors, providing evidence for a sensitivity of the PDR to long-term context.

Type: Article
Title: Pupil responses to pitch deviants reflect predictability of melodic sequences
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.bandc.2019.103621
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bandc.2019.103621
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Contextual entropy, Deviants, Melodies, Music, Pupillometry
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/10091139
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