A neurophysiological study into the foundations of tonal harmony.

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2009-02-18

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Abstract

Our findings provide magnetoencephalographic evidence that the mismatch-negativity response to two-note chords (dyads) is modulated by a combination of abstract cognitive differences and lower-level differences in the auditory signal. Participants were presented with series of simple-ratio sinusoidal dyads (perfect fourths and perfect fifths) in which the difference between the standard and deviant dyad exhibited an interval change, a shift in pitch space, or both. In addition, the standard-deviant pair of dyads either shared one note or both notes were changed. Only the condition that featured both abstract changes (interval change and pitch-space shift) and two novel notes showed a significantly larger magnetoencephalographic mismatch-negativity response than the other conditions in the right hemisphere. Implications for music and language processing are discussed.

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Scholars@Duke

Bergelson

Elika Bergelson

Associate Research Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience

Dr. Bergelson's lab has moved to Harvard Psychology; she retains an unremunerated research appointment at Duke through mid-2024 for logistical reasons. She formerly accepted PhD applicants through the Developmental and Cog/CogNeuro areas of P&N and the CNAP program.

In my research, I try to understand the interplay of processes during language acquisition.
In particular, I am interested in how word learning relates to other aspects of learning language (e.g. speech sound acquisition, grammar/morphology learning), and social/cognitive development more broadly (e.g. joint attention processes) in the first few years of life.

I pursue these questions using three main approaches: in-lab measures of early comprehension and production (eye-tracking, looking-time, and in EEG studies in collaboration with the Woldorff lab), and at-home measures of infants' linguistic and social environment (as in the SEEDLingS project).

More recently the lab is branching out to look at a wider range of human populations and at infants who are blind or deaf/heard of hearing.


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