Beta and gamma rhythms in human auditory cortex during musical beat processing

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2009 Jul;1169:89-92. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2009.04779.x.


We examined beta- (approximately 20 Hz) and gamma- (approximately 40 Hz) band activity in auditory cortices by means of magnetoencephalography (MEG) during passive listening to a regular musical beat with occasional omission of single tones. The beta activity decreased after each tone, followed by an increase, thus forming a periodic modulation synchronized with the stimulus. The beta decrease was absent after omissions. In contrast, gamma-band activity showed a peak after tone and omission, suggesting underlying endogenous anticipatory processes. We propose that auditory beta and gamma oscillations have different roles in musical beat encoding and auditory-motor interaction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Auditory Cortex / physiology*
  • Auditory Perception / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Magnetoencephalography
  • Music*
  • Periodicity
  • Young Adult