Publications (2)10.4 Total impact
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ABSTRACT: We can easily recognize familiar music by listening to only one or 2 of its opening bars, but the brain regions that participate in this cognitive processing remain undetermined. We used positron-emission tomography (PET) to study changes in regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) that occur during listening to familiar music. We used a PET subtraction technique to elucidate the brain regions associated with the recognition of familiar melodies such as well-known nursery tunes. Nonmusicians performed 2 kinds of musical tasks: judging the familiarity of musical pieces (familiarity task) and detecting deliberately altered notes in the pieces (alteration-detecting task). During the familiarity task, bilateral anterior portions of bilateral temporal lobes, superior temporal regions, and parahippocampal gyri were activated. The alteration-detecting task bilaterally activated regions in the precunei, superior/inferior parietal lobules, and lateral surface of frontal lobes, which seemed to show a correlation with the analysis of music. We hypothesize that during the familiarity task, activated brain regions participate in retrieval from long-term memory and verbal and emotional processing of familiar melodies. Our results reinforced the hypothesis reported in the literature as a result of group and case studies, that temporal lobe regions participate in the recognition of familiar melodies.