Predictability of higher-order temporal structure of musical stimuli is associated with auditory evoked response.
International journal of psychophysiology : official journal of the International Organization of Psychophysiology
Sound predictability resulting from repetitive patterns can be implicitly learned and often neither requires nor captures our conscious attention. Recently, predictive coding theory has been used as a framework to explain how predictable or expected stimuli evoke and gradually attenuate obligatory neural responses over time compared to those elicited by unpredictable events. However, these results were obtained using the repetition of simple auditory objects such as pairs of tones or phonemes. Here we examined whether the same principle would hold for more abstract temporal structures of sounds. If this is the case, we hypothesized that a regular repetition schedule of a set of musical patterns would reduce neural processing over the course of listening compared to stimuli with an irregular repetition schedule (and the same set of musical patterns). Electroencephalography (EEG) was recorded while participants passively listened to 6-8 min sequences in which five different four-tone patterns with temporally regular or irregular repetition were presented successively in a randomized order. N1 amplitudes in response to the first tone of each musical pattern were significantly less negative at the end of the regular sequence compared to the beginning, while such reduction was absent in the irregular sequence. These results extend previous findings by showing that N1 reflects automatic learning of the predictable higher-order structure of sound sequences, while continuous engagement of preattentive auditory processing is necessary for the unpredictable structure.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2020.04.002
View details for PubMedID 32325078