Sarah Tew, Takako Fujioka, Chao He, and Laurel J Trainor (2009)
Neural representation of transposed melody in infants at 6 months of age
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1169:287-290.
We examined adults' and 6-month-old infants' event-related potentials in response to occasional changes (deviants) in a 4-note melody presented at different pitch levels from trial to trial. In both groups, responses to standard and deviant stimuli differed significantly; however, adults produced a typical mismatch negativity (MMN), whereas 6-month-old infants exhibited a slow positive wave. We conclude that 6-month-old infants, like adults, encode melodic information in terms of relative pitch distances, but that the underlying cortical activity differs significantly from that of adults.