MIB guest talk: Ben Gold

Ben Gold, doctoral candidate from McGill University, Canada, visits MIB and gives talk on neural response to music.

13.02.2018 | Hella Kastbjerg

Dato fre 20 apr
Tid 14:00 15:00
Sted Meeting room 5th floor, DNC Building 10G, Aarhus University Hospital, Nørrebrogade 44


Prediction and Surprise in the Pleasure of Music    



Music and other abstract pleasures drive a great deal of human behaviors and reliably engage reward-processing hubs like the striatum. Much of music’s impact seems to come from manipulating expectations, and this could be its entry into the reward system, since making and evaluating predictions is a crucial neural function and the striatum has a well-documented role in this process. To determine whether musical prediction errors resemble the striatal reward prediction errors (RPEs) that signal positive or negative deviations from expectations about more concrete rewards like food or money, we formally modeled RPEs during fMRI scanning with an adapted decision-making task commonly used for this purpose, finding the first direct evidence of musically-elicited RPEs. But what makes a musical prediction error positive or negative? Given widely reported preferences for medium amounts of complexity across aesthetic domains, we modeled the information-theoretic characteristics of various musical excerpts, hypothesizing that a positive prediction error is one that contributes a manageable amount of information content to the listener’s model. Behavioral results support this interpretation, and so we explore this effect’s relationship to RPEs as well as some of the other factors contributing to it. Can we reconcile bidirectional RPEs with unidirectional prediction errors? Let’s discuss it!

Seminar, Forskning, Alle grupper, Musicinthebrain, Musicinthebrain