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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2009 Jul;1169:74-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2009.04766.x.

Brain lateralization of metrical accenting in musicians.

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Department of the Arts, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel.


The perception of meter, or the alternation of strong and weak beats, was assessed in musically trained listeners through magnetoencephalography. Metrical accents were examined with no temporal disruption of the serial grouping of tones. Results showed an effect of metrical processing among identical standard tones in the left hemisphere, with larger responses on strong than on weak beats. Moreover, processing of occasional increases in intensity (phenomenal accents) varied as a function of metrical position in the left hemisphere, but not in the right. Our findings support the view of a relatively early, left-hemispheric effect of metrical processing in musicians.

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