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December 2021

Cognitive models of music psychology and the lateralisation of musical function within the brain

Author(s): Pressing, J., Wales, R. J., Pattison, P.

Journal/Book: Aust J Psychol. 1999; 51: 1 Grattan Street, Carlton, Victoria 3053, Australia. Australian Psychological Soc. 125-139.

Abstract: In this study, a computer-based musical composition task was used to access higher order musical representations of adult nonmusicians, and patients having undergone left- or right-sided anterior temporal lobectomy (ATL). Compositions were rated according to the main features of cognitive structuralist models of pitch, tonality, rhythm, and phrase structure (musical grouping), as well as in terms of their nontonal complexity. The results showed that all participants created compositions that contained features typical of Western tonal music. The a priori music-theoretical structure of the cognitive models, however, was not reflected in the data. Laterality effects were observed for the left and right ATL patients in comparison to the adult nonmusicians. Left ATL patients showed less use of tonal features in their compositions, whilst right ATL patients placed less emphasis on phrase structure and melodic contour. The right ATL patients also showed impaired melodic discrimination in comparison to the normal controls.

Note: Article Wilson SJ, Austin & Repatriat Med Ctr, Dept Neuropsychol, Studley Rd, Heidelberg, Vic 3084, AUSTRALIA


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