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Peter Q Pfordresher and Caroline Palmer (2006)

Effects of hearing the past, present, or future during music performance

Perception & Psychophysics, 68(3):362-376.

Three experiments were performed to explore the effects of mismatches between actions (key-presses) and the contents of auditory feedback (pitch events) during music performance. Pianists performed melodies from memory during altered auditory feedback that was synchronized with key-presses but matched the pitch of other sequence events. Feedback direction was manipulated by presenting pitches that matched events intended for the past (delays; Experiments 1 and 3) or the future (prelays; Experiments 2 and 3). Feedback distance was manipulated by varying the absolute separation between the current event and the location of the feedback pitch. All alterations disrupted the accuracy of performance (pitch errors) more so than timing. Serial-ordering errors indicated confusions among proximal and metrically similar events, consistent with the predictions of an incremental planning model (Palmer & Pfordresher, 2003). Patterns of serial-ordering errors suggested that performers compensate for the disruptive effects of altered feedback by changing event activations during planning.