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Montréal, Canada

Nozaradan S.,Catholic University of Louvain | Nozaradan S.,Music and Sound Research BRAMS
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences | Year: 2014

The ability to perceive a regular beat in music and synchronize to this beat is a widespread human skill. Fundamental to musical behaviour, beat and meter refer to the perception of periodicities while listening to musical rhythms and often involve spontaneous entrainment to move on these periodicities. Here, we present a novel experimental approach inspired by the frequency-tagging approach to understand the perception and production of rhythmic inputs. This approach is illustrated here by recording the human electroencephalogram responses at beat and meter frequencies elicited in various contexts: mental imagery of meter, spontaneous induction of a beat from rhythmic patterns, multisensory integration and sensorimotor synchronization. Collectively, our observations support the view that entrainment and resonance phenomena subtend the processing of musical rhythms in the human brain. More generally, they highlight the potential of this approach to help us understand the link between the phenomenology of musical beat and meter and the bias towards periodicities arising under certain circumstances in the nervous system. Entrainment to music provides a highly valuable framework to explore general entrainment mechanisms as embodied in the human brain. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

Dalla Bella S.,Montpellier University | Dalla Bella S.,Institut Universitaire de France | Dalla Bella S.,University of Warsaw | Dalla Bella S.,Music and Sound Research BRAMS | Sowinski J.,University of Warsaw
Journal of Visualized Experiments | Year: 2015

A set of behavioral tasks for assessing perceptual and sensorimotor timing abilities in the general population (i.e., non-musicians) is presented here with the goal of uncovering rhythm disorders, such as beat deafness. Beat deafness is characterized by poor performance in perceiving durations in auditory rhythmic patterns or poor synchronization of movement with auditory rhythms (e.g., with musical beats). These tasks include the synchronization of finger tapping to the beat of simple and complex auditory stimuli and the detection of rhythmic irregularities (anisochrony detection task) embedded in the same stimuli. These tests, which are easy to administer, include an assessment of both perceptual and sensorimotor timing abilities under different conditions (e.g., beat rates and types of auditory material) and are based on the same auditory stimuli, ranging from a simple metronome to a complex musical excerpt. The analysis of synchronized tapping data is performed with circular statistics, which provide reliable measures of synchronization accuracy (e.g., the difference between the timing of the taps and the timing of the pacing stimuli) and consistency. Circular statistics on tapping data are particularly well-suited for detecting individual differences in the general population. Synchronized tapping and anisochrony detection are sensitive measures for identifying profiles of rhythm disorders and have been used with success to uncover cases of poor synchronization with spared perceptual timing. This systematic assessment of perceptual and sensorimotor timing can be extended to populations of patients with brain damage, neurodegenerative diseases (e.g., Parkinson’s disease), and developmental disorders (e.g., Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). © 2015 Journal of Visualized Experiments.

Champoux F.,Institute Raymond Dewar | Champoux F.,University of Montreal | Shiller D.M.,University of Montreal | Shiller D.M.,Center for Research on Language | And 2 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2011

In the present study, we demonstrate an audiotactile effect in which amplitude modulation of auditory feedback during voiced speech induces a throbbing sensation over the lip and laryngeal regions. Control tasks coupled with the examination of speech acoustic parameters allow us to rule out the possibility that the effect may have been due to cognitive factors or motor compensatory effects. We interpret the effect as reflecting the tight interplay between auditory and tactile modalities during vocal production. © 2011 Champoux et al.

Gosselin N.,Music and Sound Research BRAMS | Gosselin N.,University of Montreal | Gosselin N.,University of Quebec at Trois - Rivieres | Paquette S.,Music and Sound Research BRAMS | And 3 more authors.
Cortex | Year: 2015

The emotional experience elicited by music is largely dependent on structural characteristics such as pitch, rhythm, and dynamics. We examine here to what extent amusic adults, who have experienced pitch perception difficulties all their lives, still maintain some ability to perceive emotions from music. Amusic and control participants judged the emotions expressed by unfamiliar musical clips intended to convey happiness, sadness, fear and peacefulness (Experiment 1A). Surprisingly, most amusic individuals showed normal recognition of the four emotions tested here. This preserved ability was not due to some peculiarities of the music, since the amusic individuals showed a typical deficit in perceiving pitch violations intentionally inserted in the same clips (Experiment 1B). In Experiment 2, we tested the use of two major structural determinants of musical emotions: tempo and mode. Neutralization of tempo had the same effect on both amusics' and controls' emotional ratings. In contrast, amusics did not respond to a change of mode as markedly as controls did. Moreover, unlike the control participants, amusics' judgments were not influenced by subtle differences in pitch, such as the number of semitones changed by the mode manipulation. Instead, amusics showed normal sensitivity to fluctuations in energy, to pulse clarity, and to timbre differences, such as roughness. Amusics even showed sensitivity to key clarity and to large mean pitch differences in distinguishing happy from sad music. Thus, the pitch perception deficit experienced by amusic adults had only mild consequences on emotional judgments. In sum, emotional responses to music may be possible in this condition. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

Voss P.,Montreal Neurological Institute | Voss P.,Music and Sound Research BRAMS | Tabry V.,Concordia University at Montreal | Zatorre R.J.,Montreal Neurological Institute | Zatorre R.J.,Music and Sound Research BRAMS
Journal of Neuroscience | Year: 2015

There is substantial evidence that sensory deprivation leads to important cross-modal brain reorganization that is paralleled by enhanced perceptual abilities. However, it remains unclear how widespread these enhancements are, and whether they are intercorrelated or arise at the expense of other perceptual abilities. One specific area where such a trade-off might arise is that of spatial hearing, where blind individuals have been shown to possess superior monaural localization abilities in the horizontal plane, but inferior localization abilities in the vertical plane. While both of these tasks likely involve the use of monaural cues due to the absence of any relevant binaural signal, there is currently no proper explanation for this discrepancy, nor has any study investigated both sets of abilities in the same sample of blind individuals. Here, we assess whether the enhancements observed in the horizontal plane are related to the deficits observed in the vertical plane by testing sound localization in both planes in groups of blind and sighted persons. Our results show that the blind individuals who displayed the highest accuracy at localizing sounds monaurally in the horizontal plane are also the ones who exhibited the greater deficit when localizing in the vertical plane. These findings appear to argue against the idea of generalized perceptual enhancements in the early blind, and instead suggest the possibility of a trade-off in the localization proficiency between the two auditory spatial planes, such that learning to use monaural cues for the horizontal plane comes at the expense of using those cues to localize in the vertical plane. © 2015 the authors.

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