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Brain Cogn. 2004 Oct;56(1):36-42.

Impaired pitch production and preserved rhythm production in a right brain-damaged patient with amusia.

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Department of Neuropsychiatry, Showa University, Tokyo 142-8666, Japan.


Pre- and postmorbid singing of a patient with amusia due to a right-hemispheric infarction was analyzed acoustically. This particular patient had a premorbid tape recording of her own singing without accompaniment. Appropriateness of pitch interval and rhythm was evaluated based on ratios of pitch and duration between neighboring notes. The results showed that melodic contours and rhythm were preserved but individual pitch intervals were conspicuously distorted. Our results support a hypothesis that pitch and rhythm are subserved by independent neural subsystems. We concluded that action-related acoustic information for controlling pitch intervals is stored in the right hemisphere.

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