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Trends Cogn Sci. 2005 Dec;9(12):578-84. Epub 2005 Nov 3.

Towards a neural basis of music perception.

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Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany.


Music perception involves complex brain functions underlying acoustic analysis, auditory memory, auditory scene analysis, and processing of musical syntax and semantics. Moreover, music perception potentially affects emotion, influences the autonomic nervous system, the hormonal and immune systems, and activates (pre)motor representations. During the past few years, research activities on different aspects of music processing and their neural correlates have rapidly progressed. This article provides an overview of recent developments and a framework for the perceptual side of music processing. This framework lays out a model of the cognitive modules involved in music perception, and incorporates information about the time course of activity of some of these modules, as well as research findings about where in the brain these modules might be located.

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