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Laurel J Trainor and Robert J Zatorre (2008)

The neurobiological basis of musical expectations

In: Oxford Handbook of Music Psychology, ed. by Susan Hallam, Ian Cross, and Michael Thaut. Oxford University Press, Oxford, New York, chap. 16, pp. 171-182.

This article explores how the auditory system processes incoming information and generates perceptual representations that allow it to make predictions about future sound events from past context, and how music appears to make use of this general processing mechanism. It focuses on expectation formation in auditory cortex because this is where the most research has been done, but there is also evidence for prediction mechanisms at subcortical levels and at levels beyond sensory areas. The article presents a framework for thinking about the neurological basis of expectation and prediction in musical processing using selected examples.

auditory cortex, auditory system, perceptual representations, prediction, music, musical processing, expectation formation, auditory processing