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Rhythmic Melodies ##HOT##

Dysregulation of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis has been implicated in psychiatric disorders. Music therapy (MT) has been shown to modulate heart-rate variability (HRV) and salivary stress markers, physiological markers of the ANS and HPA axes, respectively. Given the prominent role of arousal and stress physiology in many psychiatric disorders, MT has the potential to provide therapeutic benefits in psychiatry. Active MT requires patients to engage rhythmically with music; in contrast, passive MT requires patients to listen to music, eliminating the rhythmic movement seen in active MT. Yet, it remains unknown whether active or passive MT differentially modulates arousal and stress physiology. We contrasted the effects of active and passive MT experiences to examine the differential impact of rhythmic movement on the ANS and HPA axes in healthy participants. Individuals (N = 16) participated in a crossover study of 40 min of an active MT and a passive MT intervention. HRV recordings and saliva samples were collected both before and after each intervention. The high-frequency component (HF) and the ratio of low-frequency to high-frequency components (LF/HF) were calculated as cardiac markers of parasympathetic and sympathetic ANS activation, respectively. Saliva samples were analyzed for alpha-amylase and cortisol, markers of the sympathetic ANS and HPA axes, respectively. Active MT and passive MT interventions differentially modulated LF/HF, where active MT decreased LF/HF and passive MT increased LF/HF. These results indicate that MT affects the ANS and suggests that differences in engagement between active MT and passive MT lead to a differential modulation of the sympathetic ANS.

rhythmic melodies


Memory for brief melodic phrases was tested using a short-term recognition-memory paradigm. The five-note phrases were rhythmically separated from each other and presented in lists four phrases in length. A single five-note test item followed each list and either corresponded rhythmically to one of the phrases as presented in the list (within items) or to the last three notes of one phrase and the first two notes of the next (across items). Within items were easier than across items. Slow presentation (3 notes/sec) was slightly easier than fast (6 notes/see). The J-shaped serial position curve typical of short-term memory for verbal material was obtained. The results support the position that rhythmic grouping of input determines subjective chunking and memory storage, facilitating the recognition of test items chunked in the same way as list items.

The Rhythmic chart (concurrently referred to as Rhythmic Songs since June 2009) debuted in Billboard Magazine in the issue dated October 3, 1992, as the Top 40/Rhythm-Crossover chart. Weekly rankings are "compiled from a national sample of airplay" as measured by Nielsen BDS monitoring rhythmic radios stations in the United States continuously.

Language and music share many properties, with a particularly strong overlap for prosody. Prosodic cues are generally regarded as crucial for language acquisition. Previous research has indicated that children with SLI fail to make use of these cues. As processing of prosodic information involves similar skills to those required in music perception, we compared music perception skills (melodic and rhythmic-melodic perception and melody recognition) in a group of children with SLI (, five-year-olds) to two groups of controls, either of comparable age (, five-year-olds) or of age closer to the children with SLI in their language skills and about one year younger (, four-year-olds). Children with SLI performed in most tasks below their age level, closer matching the performance level of younger controls with similar language skills. These data strengthen the view of a strong relation between language acquisition and music processing. This might open a perspective for the possible use of musical material in early diagnosis of SLI and of music in SLI therapy.

In order to perceive music, children have to acquire implicit knowledge about musical structure. Two key aspects are pitch and temporal organization (cf. [18, 19]). In addition, children acquire explicit knowledge, for example, the tune of a particular song and its lyrics. A number of studies explored music perception skills in children with SLI: Jentschke et al. [36] demonstrated that five-year-old children with SLI are impaired in certain aspects of music perception, namely, in that they lack a neurophysiological marker of music-syntactic processing whereas this marker can be observed in children with typical language development. Other studies investigated music production skills in SLI. Corriveau and Goswami [37] showed that ten-year-old children with SLI were impaired in rhythmic tapping to an externally paced source but less to an internally generated rhythm and that the severity of impairment was linked to language and literacy outcomes. Recently, Clément et al. [38] investigated singing in eleven-year-old children with SLI. Compared to children of the same age but with typical language development, children with SLI were poorer in reproducing similar tunes (pitch matching) and in reproducing familiar and unfamiliar melodies. Based upon their findings, a general auditory-motor dysfunction in the children with SLI was proposed.

The present study aimed to add knowledge of whether children with SLI differ from typically developing children with regard to music perception: Skills in pitch organization were explored in a melodic perception task, those of temporal organization were explored in a rhythmic-melodic perception task, and the recognition of musical sequences stored in long-term memory was explored in a melody recognition task. Familiarity and features like tempo, sound, and pitch of these melodies were manipulated. We expected that children with SLI would, similar to their performance in the language domain, lag behind their age-matched peers and perform rather like younger children with typical language development. Such pattern would indicate a relation of music perception and linguistic skills in children with SLI and provide further evidence for a privileged status of music perception skills during language acquisition.

In the remaining sessions, musical skills were evaluated, using tasks developed by the authors of this study. The tasks explored melodic perception, rhythmic-melodic perception, and melody recognition. Stimuli were created as MIDI files containing the beginning phrases of nursery rhymes (proposed by the kindergarten teachers and well known to all participating children). The MIDI files were exported into WAV files with a piano sound (using Steinberg Cubase SX and The Grand, Steinberg Media Technology, Hamburg, Germany). These were presented on a laptop, using Presentation 0.76 (Neurobehavioral Systems, Inc., Albany, CA), which was also used to record the answers. The suitability and age-appropriateness of stimuli and procedure were checked in a pilot test with 10 typically developing children. The pilot test also served to determine an optimal speed to present the stimuli sequences (135 beats per minute for melodic perception; 120 beats per minute for rhythmic-melodic perception).

The beginning of another nursery rhyme was used in this task (see Figure 1, right panel). In contrast to the stimuli used in [1], this phrase had a complex rhythmic structure with eighth, quarter, and punctuated quarter notes. In 10 stimuli the original rhythm was kept, while in another 10 stimuli the rhythm was changed at different positions within the phrase (whereas the pitch height was kept constant). This was accomplished, for example, by changing two quarter notes into an eighth and a punctuated quarter note. Comparable to the methodology in the melodic perception part, the stimuli were presented in three block conditions, standard, transposed, and comparable rhythm (similar to those described above). The task took the same amount of time as the first one (20 minutes).

For the rhythmic-melodic perception tasks (see Figure 3 and Table 2), the CA group showed higher performance levels than the children with SLI in all conditions. These differences were significant for the standard and the comparable rhythm condition as well as for the sum score of all three conditions. Similarly, the CA group showed higher performance levels than the language controls (CL), and significant differences between those two groups were observed for the standard condition and the sum score of all conditions. The performance was significantly above chance for all conditions in children with SLI () and the CA group () but not for any condition in the CL group (; presumably due to the small sample size).

The present study explored music perception in children with SLI and with typical language development in order to determine whether there is a link between speech perception and different aspects of music perception (melodic and rhythmic-melodic perception, as well as melody recognition).

Notably, children with SLI and those from the control groups differed significantly in their music perception skills. For the previously unknown melodies (comparable condition) and the sum score of all conditions of the melodic perception task, as well as for all subtests except the transposed condition of the rhythmic-melodic perception tasks, the performance level of children with SLI was significantly below that of the age-matched controls and rather similar to that of children with comparable linguistic abilities (CL). Processing of pitch appeared to be easier than that of rhythm: Whereas the differences between the SLI and the CL group were at least approaching significance () for all rhythmic-melodic perception tasks, only for one melodic perception task (comparable) and the sum score a significant group difference was observed.

In the melody recognition tasks, children with SLI performed nominally below both control groups in all but the timbre-change subtest of the melody perception task. However, a significant difference between children with SLI and the CA group was obtained only for the standard condition. While in the melodic and rhythmic-melodic perception tasks (reported above) the performance of children with SLI was similar to the CL group, it is lower (at least nominally) than in either control group for most melody recognition tasks. 041b061a72


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