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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2009 Jul;1169:287-90. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2009.04845.x.

Neural representation of transposed melody in infants at 6 months of age.

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Department of Psychology, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.


We examined adults' and 6-month-old infants' event-related potentials in response to occasional changes (deviants) in a 4-note melody presented at different pitch levels from trial to trial. In both groups, responses to standard and deviant stimuli differed significantly; however, adults produced a typical mismatch negativity (MMN), whereas 6-month-old infants exhibited a slow positive wave. We conclude that 6-month-old infants, like adults, encode melodic information in terms of relative pitch distances, but that the underlying cortical activity differs significantly from that of adults.

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