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Time course of EEG oscillations during repeated listening of a well-known aria


Jäncke, Lutz; Kühnis, Jürg; Rogenmoser, Lars; Elmer, Stefan (2015). Time course of EEG oscillations during repeated listening of a well-known aria. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 9:401.

Abstract

While previous studies have analyzed mean neurophysiological responses to musical stimuli, the current study aimed to identify specific time courses of electroencephalography (EEG) oscillations, which are associated with dynamic changes in the acoustic features of the musical stimulus. In addition, we were interested in whether these time courses change during a repeated presentation of the same musical piece. A total of 16 subjects repeatedly listened to the well-known aria "Nessun dorma," sung by Paul Potts, while continuous 128-channel EEG and heart rate, as well as electrodermal responses, were recorded. The time courses for the EEG oscillations were calculated using a time resolution of 1 second for several frequency bands, on the basis of individual alpha-peak frequencies (theta, low alpha-1, low alpha-2, upper alpha, and beta). For all frequency bands, we identified a more or less continuous increase in power relative to a baseline period, indicating strong event-related synchronization (ERS) during music listening. The ERS time courses, however, did not correlate strongly with the time courses of the acoustic features of the aria. In addition, we did not observe changes in EEG oscillations after repeated presentation of the same musical piece. Aside from this distinctive feature, we identified a remarkable variability in EEG oscillations, both within and between the repeated presentations of the aria. We interpret the continuous increase in ERS observed in all frequency bands during music listening as an indicator of a particular neurophysiological and psychological state evoked by music listening. We suggest that this state is characterized by increased internal attention (accompanied by reduced external attention), increased inhibition of brain networks not involved in the generation of this internal state, the maintenance of a particular level of general alertness, and a type of brain state that can be described as "mind wandering." The overall state can be categorized as a psychological process that may be seen as a "drawing in" to the musical piece. However, this state is not stable and varies considerably throughout the music listening session and across subjects. Most important, however, is the finding that the neurophysiological activations occurring during music listening are dynamic and not stationary.

Abstract

While previous studies have analyzed mean neurophysiological responses to musical stimuli, the current study aimed to identify specific time courses of electroencephalography (EEG) oscillations, which are associated with dynamic changes in the acoustic features of the musical stimulus. In addition, we were interested in whether these time courses change during a repeated presentation of the same musical piece. A total of 16 subjects repeatedly listened to the well-known aria "Nessun dorma," sung by Paul Potts, while continuous 128-channel EEG and heart rate, as well as electrodermal responses, were recorded. The time courses for the EEG oscillations were calculated using a time resolution of 1 second for several frequency bands, on the basis of individual alpha-peak frequencies (theta, low alpha-1, low alpha-2, upper alpha, and beta). For all frequency bands, we identified a more or less continuous increase in power relative to a baseline period, indicating strong event-related synchronization (ERS) during music listening. The ERS time courses, however, did not correlate strongly with the time courses of the acoustic features of the aria. In addition, we did not observe changes in EEG oscillations after repeated presentation of the same musical piece. Aside from this distinctive feature, we identified a remarkable variability in EEG oscillations, both within and between the repeated presentations of the aria. We interpret the continuous increase in ERS observed in all frequency bands during music listening as an indicator of a particular neurophysiological and psychological state evoked by music listening. We suggest that this state is characterized by increased internal attention (accompanied by reduced external attention), increased inhibition of brain networks not involved in the generation of this internal state, the maintenance of a particular level of general alertness, and a type of brain state that can be described as "mind wandering." The overall state can be categorized as a psychological process that may be seen as a "drawing in" to the musical piece. However, this state is not stable and varies considerably throughout the music listening session and across subjects. Most important, however, is the finding that the neurophysiological activations occurring during music listening are dynamic and not stationary.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Center for Integrative Human Physiology
06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
08 University Research Priority Programs > Dynamics of Healthy Aging
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:2015
Deposited On:04 Nov 2015 15:50
Last Modified:08 Dec 2017 14:46
Publisher:Frontiers Research Foundation
ISSN:1662-5161
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2015.00401
PubMed ID:26257624

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