Molly J Henry's research while affiliated with Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics and other places

Publications (63)

Article
Detecting and learning structure in sounds is fundamental to human auditory perception. Evidence for auditory perceptual learning comes from previous studies where listeners were better at detecting repetitions of a short noise snippet embedded in longer, ongoing noise when the same snippet recurred across trials compared with when the snippet was...
Preprint
Our ability to predict upcoming events is a fundamental component of human cognition. One way in which we do so is to exploit temporal regularities in sensory signals: the ticking of a clock, falling of footsteps, and the motion of waves each provide a structure that may facilitate anticipation. But how strong is the effect of rhythmic anticipation...
Preprint
Listening in everyday life requires attention to be deployed dynamically – when listening is expected to be difficult and when relevant information is expected to occur – to conserve mental resources. Conserving mental resources may be particularly important for older adults who often experience difficulties understanding speech. We use electro- an...
Article
Auditory stimuli are often rhythmic in nature. Brain activity synchronizes with auditory rhythms via neural entrainment, and entrainment seems to be beneficial for auditory perception. However, it is not clear to what extent neural entrainment in the auditory system is reliable over time - a necessary prerequisite for targeted intervention. The cur...
Preprint
Full-text available
Neural activity in the auditory system synchronizes to sound rhythms, and brain environment synchronization is thought to be fundamental to successful auditory perception. Sound rhythms are often operationalized in terms of the sound's amplitude envelope. We hypothesized that, especially for music, the envelope might not best capture the complex sp...
Preprint
Detecting and learning structure in sounds is fundamental to human auditory perception. Evidence for such auditory perceptual learning comes from previous studies where listeners were better at detecting repetitions of a short noise snippet embedded in longer, ongoing noise when the same snippet recurred across trials compared to when the snippet w...
Article
Humans can perceive a regular psychological pulse in music known as the beat. The evolutionary origins and neural mechanisms underlying this ability are hypothetically linked to imitative vocal learning, a rare trait found only in some species of mammals and birds. Beat perception has been demonstrated in vocal learning parrots but not in songbirds...
Preprint
Full-text available
Auditory stimuli are often rhythmic in nature. Brain activity synchronizes with auditory rhythms via neural entrainment, and entrainment seems to be beneficial for auditory perception. However, it is not clear to what extent neural entrainment in the auditory system is reliable over time-a necessary prerequisite for targeted intervention. The curre...
Article
Listeners resolve ambiguities in speech perception using multiple sources, including non-local or distal speech rate (i.e., the speech rate of material surrounding a particular region). The ability to resolve ambiguities is particularly important for the perception of casual, everyday productions, which are often produced using phonetically reduced...
Article
Increased memory load is often signified by enhanced neural oscillatory power in the alpha range (8–13 Hz), which is taken to reflect inhibition of task-irrelevant brain regions. The corresponding neural correlates of memory decay, however, are not yet well understood. In the current study, we investigated auditory short-term memory decay in humans...
Article
Full-text available
[This corrects the article DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.2002794.].
Preprint
Increased memory load is often signified by enhanced neural oscillatory power in the alpha range (8-13 Hz), taken to reflect inhibition of task-irrelevant brain regions. The corresponding neural correlates of memory decay, however, are not yet well-understood. Here, we investigated auditory sensory memory decay using a delayed matching-to-sample ta...
Article
Full-text available
Healthy aging is accompanied by listening difficulties, including decreased speech comprehension, that stem from an ill-understood combination of sensory and cognitive changes. Here, we use electroencephalography to demonstrate that auditory neural oscillations of older adults entrain less firmly and less flexibly to speech-paced (∼3 Hz) rhythms th...
Article
Full-text available
Entrainment of neural oscillations on multiple time scales is important for the perception of speech. Musical rhythms, and in particular the perception of a regular beat in musical rhythms, is also likely to rely on entrainment of neural oscillations. One recently proposed approach to studying beat perception in the context of neural entrainment an...
Data
Frequency-domain amplitudes at beat-related frequencies plotted for all combinations of tone duration (y-axis) and onset/offset ramp duration (x-axis), shown separately for Pattern 1–5. (PDF)
Article
Language comprehension requires that single words be grouped into syntactic phrases, as words in sentences are too many to memorize individually. In speech, acoustic and syntactic grouping patterns mostly align. However, when ambiguous sentences allow for alternative grouping patterns, comprehenders may form phrases that contradict speech prosody....
Article
Neural response adaptation plays an important role in perception and cognition. Here we used electroencephalography to investigate how aging affects the temporal dynamics of neural adaptation in human auditory cortex. Younger (18–31 years) and older (51–70 years) normal hearing adults listened to tone sequences with varying onset-to-onset intervals...
Article
Human perception fluctuates with the phase of neural oscillations in the presence of environmental rhythmic structure by which neural oscillations become entrained. However, in the absence of predictability afforded by rhythmic structure, we hypothesize that the neural dynamical states associated with optimal psychophysical performance are more com...
Article
Human brain function draws on predictive mechanisms that exploit higher-level context during lower-level perception. These mechanisms are particularly relevant for situations in which sensory information is compromised or incomplete, as for example in natural speech where speech segments may be omitted due to sluggish articulation. Here, we investi...
Article
Alignment of neural oscillations with temporally regular input allows listeners to generate temporal expectations. However, it remains unclear how behavior is governed in the context of temporal variability: What role do temporal expectations play, and how do they interact with the strength of neural oscillatory activity? Here, human participants d...
Article
Psychophysical target detection has been shown to be modulated by slow oscillatory brain phase. However, thus far, only low-level sensory stimuli have been used as targets. The current human electroencephalography (EEG) study examined the influence of neural oscillatory phase on a lexical-decision task performed for stimuli embedded in noise. Neura...
Article
Full-text available
Stimulus-specific adaptation is the phenomenon whereby neural response magnitude decreases with repeated stimulation. Inconsistencies between recent non-human animal recordings and computational modeling suggest dynamic influences on stimulus-specific adaptation. The current human electroencephalography (EEG) study investigates the potential role o...
Article
Temporal expectations enhance neural encoding precision, reflected in optimized alignment of slow neural oscillatory phase, and facilitate subsequent stimulus processing. If an event's exact occurrence time is unknown, temporal expectations arise solely from the passage of time. Here, we show that this specific type of temporal expectation is also...
Article
Auditory categorization is a vital skill for perceiving the acoustic environment. Categorization depends on the discriminability of the sensory input as well as on the ability of the listener to adaptively make use of the relevant features of the sound. Previous studies on categorization have focused either on speech sounds when studying discrimina...
Article
Full-text available
Our sensory environment is teeming with complex rhythmic structure, to which neural oscillations can become synchronized. Neural synchronization to environmental rhythms (entrainment) is hypothesized to shape human perception, as rhythmic structure acts to temporally organize cortical excitability. In the current human electroencephalography study,...
Article
Perception of time and temporal change is critical for human cognition. Yet, perception of temporal change is susceptible to contextual influences such as changes of a sound's pitch. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), the current study aimed to investigate perception of temporal rate change and pitch-induced illusory distortions. I...
Article
Full-text available
Enhanced alpha power compared with a baseline can reflect states of increased cognitive load, for example, when listening to speech in noise. Can knowledge about "when" to listen (temporal expectations) potentially counteract cognitive load and concomitantly reduce alpha? The current magnetoencephalography (MEG) experiment induced cognitive load us...
Article
Behaviorally relevant environmental stimuli are often characterized by some degree of temporal regularity. Dynamic attending theory provides a framework for explaining how perception of stimulus events is affected by the temporal context within which they occur. However, the precise neural implementation of dynamic attending remains unclear. Here,...
Article
Full-text available
Natural auditory stimuli are characterized by slow fluctuations in amplitude and frequency. However, the degree to which the neural responses to slow amplitude modulation (AM) and frequency modulation (FM) are capable of conveying independent time-varying information, particularly with respect to speech communication, is unclear. In the current ele...
Article
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Neural oscillatory dynamics are a candidate mechanism to steer perception of time and temporal rate change. While oscillator models of time perception are strongly supported by behavioral evidence, a direct link to neural oscillations and oscillatory entrainment has not yet been provided. In addition, it has thus far remained unaddressed how contex...
Article
Auditory categorization is a vital skill involving the attribution of meaning to acoustic events, engaging domain-specific (i.e., auditory) as well as domain-general (e.g., executive) brain networks. A listener's ability to categorize novel acoustic stimuli should therefore depend on both, with the domain-general network being particularly relevant...
Article
Full-text available
Meaningful auditory stimuli such as speech and music often vary simultaneously along multiple time scales. Thus, listeners must selectively attend to, and selectively ignore, separate but intertwined temporal features. The current study aimed to identify and characterize the neural network specifically involved in this feature-selective attention t...
Data
Proportions of “longer” or “more pitch change” responses as a function of Comparison Level for the time-change (left) and pitch-change (right) tasks. The data come from a separate experiment in which the 1000 Hz/s standard-velocity condition was repeated, but the mapping of response to buttons was reversed. As we observed in the experiment proper,...
Article
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A number of accounts of human auditory perception assume that listeners use prior stimulus context to generate predictions about future stimulation. Here, we tested an auditory pitch-motion hypothesis that was developed from this perspective. Listeners judged either the time change (i.e., duration) or pitch change of a comparison frequency glide re...
Article
Spectral analysis of acoustic stimuli occurs in the auditory periphery (termed frequency selectivity) as well as at the level of auditory cortex (termed frequency specificity). Frequency selectivity is commonly investigated using an auditory filter model, while frequency specificity is often investigated as neural adaptation of the N1 response in e...
Article
Full-text available
Listeners show a remarkable ability to quickly adjust to degraded speech input. Here, we aimed to identify the neural mechanisms of such short-term perceptual adaptation. In a sparse-sampling, cardiac-gated functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) acquisition, human listeners heard and repeated back 4-band-vocoded sentences (in which the tempor...
Article
This article considers a signal detection theory (SDT) approach to evaluation of performance on the Montreal Battery of Evaluation of Amusia (MBEA). One hundred fifty-five individuals completed the original binary response version of the MBEA (n = 62) or a confidence rating version (MBEA-C; n = 93). Confidence ratings afforded construction of empir...
Article
Full-text available
Complex sounds vary along a number of acoustic dimensions. These dimensions may exhibit correlations that are familiar to listeners due to their frequent occurrence in natural sounds-namely, speech. However, the precise mechanisms that enable the integration of these dimensions are not well understood. In this study, we examined the categorization...
Article
In auditory cortex, activation and subsequent adaptation is strongest for regions responding best to a stimulated tone frequency, and less for regions responding best to other frequencies. Previous attempts to characterize the spread of neural adaptation in humans investigated the auditory cortex N1 component of the event-related potentials. Import...
Article
Full-text available
Neural oscillatory activity is suggested to play an important role in human perception and cognition ([Buzsaki and Draguhn, 2004][1]). For example, recent evidence, largely derived from experiments conducted in the visual domain, suggests that near-threshold target stimuli are better detected when
Article
Full-text available
The human ability to continuously track dynamic environmental stimuli, in particular speech, is proposed to profit from "entrainment" of endogenous neural oscillations, which involves phase reorganization such that "optimal" phase comes into line with temporally expected critical events, resulting in improved processing. The current experiment goes...
Article
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In a recent “Perspective” article (Giraud and Poeppel, 2012), Giraud and Poeppel lay out in admirable clarity how neural oscillations and, in particular, nested oscillations at different time scales, might enable the human brain to understand speech. They provide compelling evidence for “enslaving” of ongoing neural oscillations by slow fluctuation...
Article
Increasing evidence shows that the neural circuits involved in beat perception overlap with motor circuitry even in the absence of overt movement. This study investigated effects of tempo on beat-based processing by combining functional magnetic resonance imaging with a perceptual timing paradigm where participants made simple temporal judgments ab...
Article
Full-text available
Two experiments investigated the effects of musicality and motivational orientation on auditory category learning. In both experiments, participants learned to classify tone stimuli that varied in frequency and duration according to an initially unknown disjunctive rule; feedback involved gaining points for correct responses (a gains reward structu...
Article
two experiments examined effects of regulatory fit and music training on performance on one subtest of the Montreal Battery of Evaluation of Amusia (MBEA). Participants made same-different judgments about melody pairs, while either gaining points for correct answers (gains condition) or losing points for incorrect answers (losses condition). In Exp...
Article
Full-text available
How we measure time and integrate temporal cues from different sensory modalities are fundamental questions in neuroscience. Sensitivity to a "beat" (such as that routinely perceived in music) differs substantially between auditory and visual modalities. Here we examined beat sensitivity in each modality, and examined cross-modal influences, using...
Article
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In three experiments, we considered the relative contribution of frequency change (Δf) and time change (Δt) to perceived velocity (Δf/Δt) for sounds that moved either continuously in frequency space (Experiment 1) or in discrete steps (Experiments 2 and 3). In all the experiments, participants estimated "how quickly stimuli changed in pitch" on a s...
Article
Auditory perception studies using the probe-signal method [Greenberg and Larkin (1968)] have demonstrated greater detection sensitivity for tones occurring at "expected" frequencies relative to tones occurring at "unexpected" frequencies. An important, but largely overlooked, methodological issue in studies using the probe-signal and related method...
Article
Full-text available
Modality effects in rhythm processing were examined using a tempo judgment paradigm, in which participants made speeding-up or slowing-down judgments for auditory and visual sequences. A key element of stimulus construction was that the expected pattern of tempo judgments for critical test stimuli depended on a beat-based encoding of the sequence....
Article
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CONGENITAL AMUSIA, OR 'TONE DEAFNESS,' IS A LIFELONG impairment in musical ability, reported to be present in approximately 4% of the general population.We examined the meaningfulness of 4% as an estimate of the prevalence of amusia given current test-based methods; here we focused on the Distorted Tunes Test (DTT) and the Montreal Battery of Evalu...
Article
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This article extends an imputed pitch velocity model of the auditory kappa effect proposed by Henry and McAuley (2009a) to the auditory tau effect. Two experiments were conducted using an AXB design in which listeners judged the relative pitch of a middle target tone (X) in ascending and descending three-tone sequences. In Experiment 1, sequences w...
Article
Full-text available
Three experiments evaluated an imputed pitch velocity model of the auditory kappa effect. Listeners heard 3-tone sequences and judged the timing of the middle (target) tone relative to the timing of the 1st and 3rd (bounding) tones. Experiment 1 held pitch constant but varied the time (T) interval between bounding tones (T = 728, 1,000, or 1,600 ms...
Article
This research compared use of frequency and duration cues in magnitude estimates of frequency change (velocity). In two experiments, listeners rated how quickly tone sequences (Experiment 1) or glides (Experiment 2) changed in frequency on a scale ranging from 0 (not changing at all) to 100 (changing very quickly). In both experiments, velocity was...
Article
Duration and speech rate are traditionally assumed to be filtered out before lexical lookup takes place, although these factors are known to influence phoneme perception. Here, the hypothesis was investigated that duration can affect both perceived lexical identity, as well as the perceived number and implied locations of word boundaries relative t...

Citations

... Findings revealed that infants' visually entrained theta, but not alpha oscillations sharply increased for unexpected vs. expected events, in line with evidence on the critical role of theta oscillations in early learning (Begus and Bonawitz, 2020;Köster et al., 2020). However, in a commentary, using simulated data, Keitel et al. (2021) argued that the results from Köster et al. (2019a) could potentially be explained by a stimulus-tracking account: unexpected events could enhance the negative central (Nc) component of the event related potential (ERP) (Kayhan et al., 2019), leading to a difference in ERPs between conditions without the involvement of functionally relevant oscillations elicited by the stimulus. Although the simulated data did not closely reflect the observed data (see Köster et al., 2021b), this debate highlights the need to differentiate between entrainment and stimulus-tracking when interpreting data from rhythmic perceptual stimulation studies. ...
... While these studies explicitly targeted rhythmic pattern structure, performance could be based on memorizing only the first temporal interval [72]. Interestingly, jackdaws (Corvus monedula) were shown to not only distinguish two rhythmic patterns, but to maintain discrimination with tempo changes, suggesting more advanced abilities based on the pattern, or even the beat [73], in contrast with zebra finches, budgerigars [74] and starlings [75], who seem to have limited ability to use the beat to distinguish stimuli, but rather attend to absolute durations. Humans implicitly leverage rhythmic structure in isochronous sequences for the detection and discrimination of pitch differences [20,76], temporal shifts [77], sounds at hearing threshold [78] and silent gaps [79,80]. ...
... Consistent with this, it has been shown that the articulation rate of the preceding part of the utterance co-determines which words and speech segments listeners extract from the speech signal, such that a shift in distal rates can cause listeners to overhear segments and short words (Dilley and Pitt, 2010;Morrill et al., 2014;Baese-Berk et al., 2019). These effects of speech tempo on speech perception are likely a function of the way variance in the signal is experienced, which in turn influences the way listeners experience the durations of consecutive sounds in sequences. ...
... Complementing other recent studies on the role of temporal expectations in working memory (Boettcher, Gresch, Nobre, & van Ede, 2020;Zokaei, Board, Manohar, & Nobre, 2019;Wilsch, Henry, Herrmann, Herrmann, & Obleser, 2018;Olmos-Solis, van Loon, Los, & Olivers, 2017;Wilsch, Henry, Herrmann, Maess, & Obleser, 2015), we sought to investigate the behavioral consequences and neural signatures of temporal expectation in the context of a well-studied changedetection task of visual working memory, with lateralized encoding displays (Vogel et al., 2005;Vogel & Machizawa, 2004). We investigated the consequences of temporal expectations on memory-guided behavior in this task, by manipulating the time at which the contents of working memory would likely be probed. ...
... In the current study, we defined temporal (ir)regularity in a strict manner by isochronous versus non-isochronous temporal structures. Stimuli with non-isochronous temporal structure, such as metrical musical rhythm or jittered SOA, may also be perceived as rhythmic and hence influence behavior similarly to those with isochronous temporal structure [60][61][62] . As we also included rhythmicity ratings in Experiments 2 and 3, we additionally compared the perceived rhythmicity between temporally regular and irregular distractors. ...
... Evidence from EEG studies on emotion suggest that cortical α band (8-12 Hz) is a useful indicator of arousal state (Aftanas et al., 2002;Uusberg et al., 2013). Moreover, parieto-occipital α activity was shown to index cognitive processing, effortful listening McMahon et al., 2016;Dimitrijevic et al., 2017), the state of wakefulness (Pfurtscheller et al., 1996) and top-down processing (Henry et al., 2017). Alpha oscillatory activity has also been associated with adaptive, intentional, and top-down suppression of task-irrelevant information (Rihs et al., 2007;Jensen and Mazaheri, 2010;Händel et al., 2011;Klatt et al., 2020). ...
... For one thing, natural speech is not very rhythmical beyond the syllable level and it is not clear how oscillations at the frequency of phrases and sentences can account for hierarchical structure building when phrase and sentence frequencies are not stable over time (see Rimmele et al., 2018 for a related discussion of the viability of neural entrainment as a mechanism for the prediction of aperiodic stimuli). In the domain of music on which we focus here, periodicity does commonly occur but there is only limited evidence for meter tracking in the absence of meter-related acoustic cues in the input (Henry et al., 2017;Nozaradan et al., 2012Nozaradan et al., , 2016. In previous studies without acoustic confounds rhythm perception was confounded with rhythm imagery (Fujioka et al., 2015;Li et al., 2019;Nozaradan et al., 2011); participants listened to isochronous tone sequences and were asked to actively imagine hearing the sequence in a binary or ternary rhythm (march or waltz). ...
... Finally, for perceptual chunking listeners may also rely on prosody, but many cognitive studies suggest that prosody is neither necessary nor sufficient for speech segmentation ( De Ruiter et al., 2006 ;Meyer et al., 2017, Itzhak et al., 2010Ding et al., 2016 ;Kaufeld et al., 2020 ). In addition, recent cognitive linguistic theories argue against a modular approach to language and assume that in processing, linguistic information is rapidly integrated from different sources simultaneously ( MacWhinney, 2012 ;Goldberg, 2013 ;Bornkessel-Schlesewskyet al., 2016 ). ...
... The concept of N1 refractoriness is closely related to concepts of (stimulus-specific) adaptation (Helson, 1948;Näätänen et al., 1988;O'Shea, 2015;Ulanovsky et al., 2003), but N1 refractoriness exclusively refers to the immediate past (Rosburg and Mager, 2021;Ross and Hamm, 2020). N1 refractoriness has in particular been studied by varying the interval between stimuli (Berti et al., 2017;Chapman et al., 1981;Davis et al., 1966;Hari et al., 1982;Herrmann et al., 2016;Javitt et al., 2000;Pereira et al., 2014;Rosburg et al., 2010;Teichert et al., 2016). Such studies showed that for interstimulus intervals (ISIs) > 0.4 s the N1 amplitude increased with increasing ISIs, until the N1 amplitude saturates at ISIs of about 10 s. ...
... Indeed, retrospective EEG/MEG spectral trial-by-trial decompositions revealed that visual detection correlates with specific phase-angles of theta-alpha endogenous oscillatory signal (Busch et al., 2009;Mathewson et al., 2009;VanRullen et al., 2011). This theta/alpha phase-related effect of perceptual facilitation has also been probed in auditory (Henry et al., 2016) and somatosensory perception (Palva et al., 2005), memory retrieval (Rizzuto et al., 2006) and temporal discrimination (Milton & Pleydell-Pearce, 2016). ...