Barbara Tillmann

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Western tonal music relies on a formal geometric structure that determines distance relationships within a harmonic or tonal space. In functional magnetic resonance imaging experiments, we identified an area in the rostromedial prefrontal cortex that tracks activation in tonal space. Different voxels in this area exhibited selectivity for different keys.(More)
Tonal music is a highly structured system that is ubiquitous in our cultural environment. We demonstrate the acquisition of implicit knowledge of tonal structure through neural self-organization resulting from mere exposure to simultaneous and sequential combinations of tones. In the process of learning, a network with fundamental neural constraints comes(More)
Neural correlates of the processing of musical syntax-like structures have been investigated via expectancy violation due to musically unrelated (i.e., unexpected) events in musical contexts. Previous studies reported the implication of inferior frontal cortex in musical structure processing. However - due to the strong musical manipulations - activations(More)
Behavioral studies have provided evidence that the processing of a musical target is faster and more accurate when it is harmonically related to the preceding prime context. We investigated the neural correlates of processing related and unrelated musical targets that were presented at the end of musical sequences. Participants were scanned with functional(More)
Polyphonic music combines multiple auditory streams to create complex auditory scenes, thus providing a tool for investigating the neural mechanisms that orient attention in natural auditory contexts. Across two fMRI experiments, we varied stimuli and task demands in order to identify the cortical areas that are activated during attentive listening to real(More)
Congenital amusia is a lifelong disorder of music perception and production. The present study investigated the cerebral bases of impaired pitch perception and memory in congenital amusia using behavioural measures, magnetoencephalography and voxel-based morphometry. Congenital amusics and matched control subjects performed two melodic tasks (a melodic(More)
The processing of a target chord depends on the previous musical context in which it has appeared. This harmonic priming effect occurs for fine syntactic-like changes in context and is observed irrespective of the extent of participants' musical expertise (Bigand & Pineau, Perception and Psychophysics, 59 (1997) 1098). The present study investigates how the(More)
Congenital amusia refers to a lifelong disorder of music processing and is linked to pitch-processing deficits. The present study investigated congenital amusics' short-term memory for tones, musical timbres and words. Sequences of five events (tones, timbres or words) were presented in pairs and participants had to indicate whether the sequences were the(More)
RECENTLY, WE POINTED OUT THAT A SMALL number of individuals fail to acquire basic musical abilities, and that these deficiencies might have neuronal and genetic underpinnings. Such a musical disorder is now termed “congenital amusia,” an umbrella term for lifelong musical disabilities that cannot be attributed to mental retardation, deafness, or lack of(More)
The feeling of familiarity can be triggered by stimuli from all sensory modalities, suggesting a multimodal nature of its neural bases. In the present experiment, we investigated this hypothesis by studying the neural bases of familiarity processing of odors and music. In particular, we focused on familiarity referring to the participants' life experience.(More)