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The Cognitive Neuroscience of Music$
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Isabelle Peretz and Robert J. Zatorre

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780198525202

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198525202.001.0001

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Comparison Between Language and Music

Comparison Between Language and Music

(p.269) Chapter 18 Comparison Between Language and Music
The Cognitive Neuroscience of Music

Mireille Besson

Daniele Schön

Oxford University Press

This chapter summarizes the evidence from brain imaging results, noting that this field is currently in need of metanalysis of the available results to evaluate precisely this claim. A series of experiments, mainly using the event-related brain potentials method, are performed to compare different levels of processing in language and music. Overall, results favour language specificity when certain aspects of semantic processing in language are compared with certain aspects of melodic and harmonic processing in music. By contrast, results support the view that general cognitive principles are involved when aspects of syntactic processing in language are compared with aspects of harmonic processing in music. Moreover, analysis of the temporal structure led to similar effects in language and music. These tentative conclusions must be supported by other brain imaging results to shed further light on the spatiotemporal dynamics of the brain structure-function relationship.

Keywords:   language, music, brain imaging, semantic processing, melodic processing, harmonic processing, syntactic processing, brain structure-function relationship

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