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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.

development, infant, relative pitch, EEG, melody