Predictive coding of music--brain responses to rhythmic incongruity

Cortex. 2009 Jan;45(1):80-92. doi: 10.1016/j.cortex.2008.05.014. Epub 2008 Nov 14.


During the last decades, models of music processing in the brain have mainly discussed the specificity of brain modules involved in processing different musical components. We argue that predictive coding offers an explanatory framework for functional integration in musical processing. Further, we provide empirical evidence for such a network in the analysis of event-related MEG-components to rhythmic incongruence in the context of strong metric anticipation. This is seen in a mismatch negativity (MMNm) and a subsequent P3am component, which have the properties of an error term and a subsequent evaluation in a predictive coding framework. There were both quantitative and qualitative differences in the evoked responses in expert jazz musicians compared with rhythmically unskilled non-musicians. We propose that these differences trace a functional adaptation and/or a genetic pre-disposition in experts which allows for a more precise rhythmic prediction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Adult
  • Algorithms
  • Biofeedback, Psychology / physiology
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Education
  • Evoked Potentials / physiology
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality / physiology
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Magnetoencephalography
  • Male
  • Music / psychology*