Neural correlates of expectation of musical termination structure or cadence

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Abstract

Music is an essential communication tool that can convey emotional information. Segmentation of a sound stream of music at event boundaries is necessary for identification and extraction of musical context and features. To investigate recognition of music termination structure, or cadence, we composed music sequences with two types of dominant–tonic termination structures and presented them to participants and analyzed their segment recognition and brain activities using EEG. The results revealed that a sense of termination was caused by listening to a tonic chord. Frontal area positivity at 380–480 ms was elicited by a dominant chord in cadence type I with a stronger sense of termination. These activities possibly reflected the expectation of the next tonic chord in the cadence.

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