Events

UC MERCI at the International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition (ICMPC)

Tuesday, July 5 - Saturday, July 9, 2016
Hyatt Regency Hotel, Downtown San Francisco


UC MERCI Board Members attended and presented at ICMPC in July. Below is the schedule of these talks and poster sessions.


Paper Talks

Principle Investigator

Title

Abstract

John Iversen

Session Chair Music & Neuroscience 1

Hearing loss, which most adults will experience to some degree as they age, is associated with increased risk of cognitive impairment and decreased quality of life. Musicianship has been shown to improve aspects of auditory and cognitive processing, but has not been studied as a short-term intervention for improving these abilities in older adults. The current study investigates whether short-term musical training can improve three aspects of auditory processing: perception of speech in noise, pitch discrimination, and the neural response to brief auditory stimuli (frequency following response; FFR). This study also examines several measures of cognition – working memory and inhibitory control of attention – in order to explore the extent to which gains in auditory perception might be related to improvements in cognitive abilities. Thirty-two older adults (aged 50+) participated in a choir for 10 weeks, during which they took part in group singing (2 hours/week) supported by individual online musical training (1 hour/week). Choir participants (n=32) and an age-matched control group (n=20) underwent pre- and post-training assessments, conducted during the first week of the choir and again after the last week. Cognitive and auditory assessments were administered electronically, and the FFR was obtained using electroencephalography (EEG). Preliminary statistical analyses showed that choir participants improved across all auditory measures, while the control group showed no differences. As well, choir participation resulted in higher scores on a non-auditory attention task, suggesting that musical training can lead to cognitive changes outside the auditory domain. A correlational analysis demonstrated that older adults with increased hearing loss achieved greater gains as a result of this intervention. These findings support our hypothesis that short-term choir participation is an effective intervention for perceptual and cognitive aspects of age-related hearing loss.

Sarah Creel

Symposium: Musical rhythm in typical and atypical language development. Music & Language 3

The importance of musical rhythm for normal development of language skills, in speech and in print, is increasingly well-documented. The broad range of neurodevelopmental disorders that implicate rhythm and/or temporal processing as a core deficit is also quite striking. These include developmental stuttering, developmental dyslexia, and specific language impairment (SLI), among others. This symposium brings together three scholars working at the intersection of musical rhythm and language to consider (a) the role of rhythm in typical language development and (b) the specific nature of rhythm and/or temporal processing deficits in different language disorders.

Ramesh Balasubramaniam

BeatHealth: Bridging rhythm and technology to improve health and wellness Music, Health, Science & Industry 1

There is a tight link between the rhythm of external information (e.g., auditory) and movement. It can be seen when we spontaneously or deliberately move on the beat of music (e.g., in dance), or when we particularly enjoy performing sport activities (e.g., running or cycling) together with music. The propensity to match movements to rhythm is natural, develops precociously and is likely hard-wired in humans. The BeatHealth project exploits this compelling link between rhythm and movement for boosting motor performance and enhancing health and wellness using a personalized approach. This goal is achieved by creating an intelligent technological architecture for delivering rhythmic auditory stimuli using state-of-the art mobile and sensor technology. Optimal stimulation is based on experiments performed in the lab and in more ecological conditions. The beneficial effects of BeatHealth are evaluated in two populations: patients with Parkinson’s disease (walking) and in healthy citizens of various ages with moderate physical activity (running). The main findings and technological achievements of this project, still ongoing, will be presented in this Symposium.

John Iversen

A Functional and Effective Connectivity Examination of the Brain's Rhythm Network Music & Neuroscience 2

Deficits in the ability to perceive and produce a beat correlate with the impairment of coordinated movement in disorders such Parkinson’s disease. Neuroimaging has shown that rhythmic movements and maintaining a steady beat involve the interaction of auditory and motor areas, within a wider network of prefrontal, parietal, cerebellar, and striatal regions. How these dynamic interactions establish an internal sense of beat and enable us to produce rhythms is only beginning to be understood, yet may ultimately help develop more effective interventions for movement disorders. This study therefore examined brain activity across a large network using functional (fMRI), functional connectivity (fcMRI), and effective connectivity MRI (ecMRI) techniques during a beat production and maintenance task of contrasting strongly and weakly beat-inducing stimuli. fMRI BOLD activation results from14 participants (4F, 24 ± 4.5yrs) are consistent with the previous literature. Tapping to a strong beat compared to selfpaced tapping showed the greatest relative activation in the bilateral auditory cortices, supplementary motor areas (SMA), premotor cortices (PMC), and inferior frontal gyri (IFG). Relative to a weak beat, significant activation was seen in the putamen and thalamus. Functional connectivity was examined across a more comprehensive group of brain regions of interest (ROIs) then has been previously reported (18 ROIs), including regions the cerebellum, thalamus, inferior parietal lobe, and caudate nucleus. These analyses demonstrated that connectivity is remarkably stable regardless of stimulus beat strength or self-paced tapping. Examination of the strongest signal correlations showed the left IFG, thalami, and particularly the SMA may act as important connectivity “hubs.” A preliminary ecMRI analysis using Group Iterative Multi Model Estimation (GIMME) confirmed the fcMRI analyses outline of the network’s structure as well as its identification of important network hubs.

Petr Janata

Symposium Exploring Music & Language processing and emotions with ECoG Music & Neuroscience 3

Symposium summary Electrocorticography (ECoG), which employs direct cortical recordings from either subdural or depth electrodes, provides a unique method to study cognition and emotion in humans. Clinically ECoG is the gold standard for locating epileptic sources in therapy refractory epilepsy patients. Within cognitive neuroscience it offers the sound combination of high temporal (in ms range) and high spatial (in mm range) resolution. Those features offer a high potential for (a) exploring the neural encoding of music within the secondary auditory areas via cortical surface electrodes and (b) exploring activations of limbic structures due to music induced emotions via depth electrodes in the Hippocampus and Amygdala.

John Iversen

Studying the impact music practice has on neurodevelopment in youth Music & Neuroscience 4

SIMPHONY is a five-year longitudinal study of the impact of music training on children’s neural and cognitive development. The project is embedded within a larger neurocognitive study that addresses how environment, genetics and brain interact during development. On annual visits, children (ages 5-12) complete an extensive battery of cognitive tests, imaging of brain structure, and electrophysiology. Twenty students receiving intensive instrumental music training (in the San Diego Youth Simphony’s El Sistema-inspired Community Opus Project) and 142 control students are currently enrolled. Of these, 98 (17 music) have completed a second annual measurement battery to date. We will present results relating beat perception and synchronization (BPS) ability assessed with the Beat Alignment Test (BAT; Iversen et al., 2008). All measures of BPS show age-dependent improvement, but with considerable variation for any given calendar age, which is what we seek to relate to brain structural differences. Music training influenced the consistency of improvement between year 1 and year 2, with greater mean change in scores for beat perception (% correct; p=0.017) and synchronization with a metronome (CV of ITI, p=0.04). While this may, unsurprisingly, reflect training, it may also reflect test performance motivation. Brain structural differences explain individual differences in beat perception ability, which was strongly related to the volume of motor/premotor cortex (p < 0.003), after age effects (p < 0.001) were accounted for. The finding that motor cortex volume predicts perceptual performance is interesting, given that the assessment of beat perception (judging the alignment of a click track superimposed on music with the music's beat) and did not explicitly involve movement.

Julene Johnson

Symposium Perspectives on the History of Music Cognition History of Music Cognition 2

The field of music cognition has developed for approximately 150 years. However, extended discussion of its origins and growth in a historical sense has emerged only recently. Investigating how and why music became one of the domains of brain research in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries can lead to a deeper understanding of psychology and cognitive science today. Exploring the roots of music research takes us back to the nineteenth century. Most music psychologists agree there was an increasing interest in music and brain in the late nineteenth century, particularly in the work of Hermann von Helmholtz and the beginnings of psychoacoustics. The late nineteenth century also saw the emergence of musicology, psychology and neurology as new fields of study. Literature in these areas shows that Helmholtz was not alone, but that in fact, researchers in all of these disciplines were interested in music and the brain. By the end of the nineteenth century, the study of music and brain had formed a separate identity within the fields of neurology, psychology and musicology. Many issues that were explored in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries have become part of twentieth-first century investigations in music cognition and in neuroscience: localization of music function, music impairments, perceptual and cognitive processing, the relationship between music and emotion. During the early and midtwentieth century, however, the field of music cognition did not continue to grow as rapidly as during the latenineteenth century. The first talk will focus on the contributions of neurologists to the study of music cognition in the late nineteenth century. The second talk will explore the overlapping interest of late nineteenthcentury neurologists, psychologists, and musicologists who shared an interest in music cognition. The final talk will focus on the impact of American Behaviorism on the field of music psychology during the early and midtwentieth century.


Poster Sessions

Principle Investigator

Title

Ramesh Balasubramaniam

Examining motor recruitment during incongruent audiovisual music perception: A TMS Study Music & Neuroscience 1

Petr Janata

Pupillary and eyeblink responses to auditory stimuli index attention and sensorimotor coupling Rhythm, Meter & Timing 1

Petr Janata

Predicting temporal attention in music with a damped oscillator model Rhythm, Meter & Timing 1

Scott Makeig

An EEG Examination of Neural Entrainment and Action Simulation During Rhythm Perception Rhythm, Meter & Timing 3

Ramesh Balasubramaniam

An EEG Examination of Neural Entrainment and Action Simulation During Rhythm Perception Rhythm, Meter & Timing 3

Scott Makeig

The BEAT test: training fundamental temporal perceptual motor skills Rhythm, Meter & Timing 3

Sarah Creel

Melody familiarity facilitates music processing in 4-5-year-olds Musical Development 3

John Iversen

An EEG Examination of Neural Entrainment and Action Simulation During Rhythm Perception Rhythm, Meter & Timing 3

John Iversen

The BEAT test: training fundamental temporal perceptual motor skills Rhythm, Meter & Timing 3

Sarah Creel

The effect of short-term training on synchronization and entrainment to complex-meter music. Rhythm, Meter & Timing 4

Julene Johnson

The Benefits of Music Making on Cognition in Older Adults Music & Aging 4