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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2009 Jul;1169:173-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2009.04782.x.

Imagery mismatch negativity in musicians.

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Institute for Biomagnetism and Biosignalanalysis, University of Münster, Münster, Germany.


The present study investigated musical imagery in musicians and nonmusicians by means of magnetoencephalography (MEG). We used a new paradigm in which subjects had to continue familiar melodies in their mind and then judged if a further presented tone was a correct continuation of the melody. Incorrect tones elicited an imagery mismatch negativity (iMMN) in musicians but not in nonmusicians. This finding suggests that the MMN component can be based on an imagined instead of a sensory memory trace and that imagery of music is modulated by musical expertise.

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