Timing

Practice of a tricky rhythm is visible in brain scans – and it ‘moves’ within the brain as the practice progresses

Title of paper under discussion Dynamic Cortical and Subcortical Networks in Learning and Delayed Recall of Timed Motor Sequences Authors Virginia B. Penhune and Julien Doyon Journal The Journal of Neuroscience, February 15, 2002, 22(4):1397–1406 Link to paper (free access) Overview Using positron emission tomography (PET) researchers from Montreal scanned the brains of volunteers 1) …

Practice of a tricky rhythm is visible in brain scans – and it ‘moves’ within the brain as the practice progresses Read More »

American babies learn Balkan rhythms quicker than their parents

Title of paper under discussion Tuning in to musical rhythms: Infants learn more readily than adults Authors Erin E. Hannon and Sandra E. Trehub Journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA (PNAS), vol 102, no 35, pp 12639-12643 Link to paper (free access) Overview A 6-month-old baby is remarkably ‘culture-general’ in …

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Musicians “switch off” the right temporoparietal junction when improvising

Title of paper under discussion Expertise-related deactivation of the right temporoparietal junction during musical improvisation Authors Aaron L. Berkowitz and Daniel Ansari Journal NeuroImage, vol 49 (2010), pp 712–719 Link to paper (free access) Overview When handed a simple five-note mini piano keyboard, anyone – musician or non-musician – can improvise a melody of sorts. …

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Poor speech can be related to poor manual timing

Title of paper under discussion Pitch and Timing Abilities in Inherited Speech and Language Impairment Authors Katherine J. Alcock, Richard E. Passingham, Kate Watkins, and Faraneh Vargha-Khadem Journal Brain and Language 75, 34–46 (2000) Link to paper (free access) Overview Some members of a large extended family – the ‘KE family’ – suffer from an …

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Violinists spontaneously change phrase length and ‘shut out’ colleagues to maintain ensemble

Title of paper under discussion Synchronization of complex human networks Authors Shir Shahal, Ateret Wurzberg, Inbar Sibony, Hamootal Duadi, Elad Shniderman, Daniel Weymouth, Nir Davidson & Moti Fridman Journal NATURE COMMUNICATIONS (2020) 11:3854 Link to paper (free access) Overview Eager to investigate how humans synchronise activity in a group, these researchers (led by Shir Shahal …

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Can a musician’s superior maths ability be explained by superior timing ability?

Title of paper under discussion Musicians outperform nonmusicians in magnitude estimation: evidence of a common processing mechanism for time, space and numbers Authors Christian Agrillo and Laura Piffer Journal The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, vol 65, issue 12, pp 2321-2332 Link to paper (free access) Overview Could it be that the human brain uses the same …

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Music is processed in ‘visual areas’ of a blind musician’s brain

Title of paper under discussion Cortical plasticity in an early blind musician: an fMRl study Authors David A. Ross, Ingrid R. Olson, John C. Gore Journal Magnetic Resonance Imaging, vol 21 (2003) pp 821–828 Link to paper (free access) Overview Blindness is often reckoned to be associated with a high level of musical competence, “perhaps …

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Did an auditory illusion lead Schnabel to rush subdivided passages in Beethoven?

Title of paper under discussion A filled duration illusion in music: Effects of metrical subdivision on the perception and production of beat tempo. Authors Bruno H Repp and Meijin Bruttomesso  Journal Advances in cognitive psychology vol. 5 114-34, 13 January 2010 Link to paper (free access) Overview Scientists have long recognised that a “filled” time interval …

Did an auditory illusion lead Schnabel to rush subdivided passages in Beethoven? Read More »

Groovy music tickles pleasure and motor centres in the brain

Title of paper under discussion The sensation of groove engages motor and reward networks Authors Tomas E. Matthews, Maria A. G. Witek, Torben Lund, Peter Vuust, Virginia B. Penhune Journal NeuroImage, Volume 214, 1 July 2020, 116768 Link to original paper (open access) Overview Researchers in Aarhus, Denmark, set out to investigate the effects of musical …

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