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Neurosciences And Music IV: Learning And Memory


Auditory imagery can represent many aspects of music, such as the starting pitches of a tune or the instrument that typically plays it. In this paper, I concentrate on more dynamic, or time-sensitive aspects of musical imagery, as demonstrated in two recently published studies. The first was a behavioral study that examined the ability to make emotional judgments about both heard and imagined music in real time. The second was a neuroimaging study on the neural correlates of anticipating an upcoming tune, after hearing a cue tune. That study found activation of several sequence-learning brain areas, some of which varied with the vividness of the anticipated musical memory. Both studies speak to the ways in which musical imagery allows us to judge temporally changing aspects of the represented musical experience. These judgments can be quite precise, despite the complexity of generating the rich internal representations of imagery.


Conference Paper