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Revealing spatio-spectral electroencephalographic dynamics of musical mode and tempo perception by independent component analysis



Music conveys emotion by manipulating musical structures, particularly musical mode- and tempo-impact. The neural correlates of musical mode and tempo perception revealed by electroencephalography (EEG) have not been adequately addressed in the literature.


This study used independent component analysis (ICA) to systematically assess spatio-spectral EEG dynamics associated with the changes of musical mode and tempo.


Empirical results showed that music with major mode augmented delta-band activity over the right sensorimotor cortex, suppressed theta activity over the superior parietal cortex, and moderately suppressed beta activity over the medial frontal cortex, compared to minor-mode music, whereas fast-tempo music engaged significant alpha suppression over the right sensorimotor cortex.


The resultant EEG brain sources were comparable with previous studies obtained by other neuroimaging modalities, such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and positron emission tomography (PET). In conjunction with advanced dry and mobile EEG technology, the EEG results might facilitate the translation from laboratory-oriented research to real-life applications for music therapy, training and entertainment in naturalistic environments.

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