Music

Cross references:  Amphioxus Asymmetry     Lamprey Asymmetry  
Human Asymmetry    

Searching PubMed for "music right hemisphere" yielded 216 hits.  Starting with the oldest, #216, I scanned the titles of the first 50, through #166, reading the abstracts of those that seemed relevant.  There were nine abstracts that seemed worth recording.  I copied the two most general to 
Human Asymmetry  and the other seven below.   

Cerebral dominance in musicians and nonmusicians  (PubMed) - 1974 
Only abstract available online. 
    "Musically experienced listeners recognize simple melodies better in the right ear than the left, while the reverse is true for naive listeners. Hence, contrary to previous reports, music perception supports the hypothesis that the left hemisphere is dominant for analytic processing and the right hemisphere for holistic processing.
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My comment
    The right ear projects to the left, "dominant" hemisphere and vise-a-versa.  The above finding implies that musically experienced listeners recognize simple melodies analytically. 


Preservation of singing in Broca's Aphasia (PubMed) - 1977 
Full length HTML available online for free. 
from the abstract

     "Twenty-four right-handed, right hemiparetic patients with Broca's aphasia were examined for their singing capacity. Twenty-one (87.5%) produced good melody. Twelve of these (57%) produced good text words while singing. It is speculated that the right hemisphere is dominant over the left for singing capacity. The relationship between melodic and text singing was also discussed."  


Dichotically-stimulated ear differences in musicians and nonmusicians  (PubMed) - 1977 
Only abstract available online. 
    "
A dichotic listening task involving violin melodies was given to 32 musicians and 32 nonmusicians. The former group demonstrated a right ear superiority, while the latter performed better with the left ear.
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    "
The results were interpreted as demonstrating that musicians mainly use the left hemishpher to process musical stimuli, while nonmusicians use the right. It is thought that as a person becomes more musically adept, increasing use is made of a left hemisphere sequential analytic mechanism.
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Left hemisphere dominance for rhythmic elements in dichotically-presented melodies (PubMed) - 1978  
Only abstract available online. 
    "
Right ear superiority was found for two groups of 24 subjects on a dichotic listening test of melodies each differing only in rhythm.
    In addition, no ear difference was found in the same two groups for a dichotic melodies test differing only in pitch or pitch pattern.  
    Finally, the usual left ear superiority was seen for dichotic presentation of chords and the usual right ear superiority was seen for the dichotic presentation of digits.  
    The results imply that in neither of the non-verbal (melodies) tests was the right hemisphere superior to the left. In fact for one test the reverse was true: the left hemisphere was superior to the right for melody recognition based on a rhythm cue. The apparent conflict between this and previous studies is explained by the notion that it is not the stimuli per se that govern hemispheric dominance, but rather the cognitive functioning required by the left and right hemispheres in order to process them.
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Preservation of acquired music performance functions with a dominant hemisphere lesion: a case report. (PubMed) - 1981 
Only abstract available online. 
    "
This paper presents evidence of preservation of acquired music performance functions in a right-handed man with a large dominant hemisphere lesion.  
    Results of music testing, speech pathology testing, neuropsychological testing and neurological examination are presented, with evidence of intact music skills (melodic perception and an ability to read at sight) being compared with lost skills (auditory processing span of 3 digits forward, and impairment of complex rhythmic tasks). 
     Interpretations are offered in light of contemporary theories suggesting that brain processes for musical memory involve different cerebral systems to those for verbal memory.
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Mode of processing and hemisphere differences in the judgement of musical stimuli. (PubMed) - 1989 
Only abstract available online. 
    "
The relationship between processing strategy and ear asymmetry was examined in two experiments in which subjects were required to make judgements about monoaurally presented musical chords. In the first experiment, subjects without musical training showed a significant left ear advantage while in those with musical training a significant shift towards a right ear advantage was observed.
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Hemispheric asymmetry and the processing of processing of harmonies in music (PubMed) - 1989 
Only abstract available online. 
    "
From the results the conclusion is drawn that the right hemisphere is more sensitive to the dimension of musical harmony.
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