The harmonic organization of auditory cortex

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

A fundamental structure of sounds encountered in the natural environment is the harmonicity. Harmonicity is an essential component of music found in all cultures. It is also a unique feature of vocal communication sounds such as human speech and animal vocalizations. Harmonics in sounds are produced by a variety of acoustic generators and reflectors in the natural environment, including vocal apparatuses of humans and animal species as well as music instruments of many types. We live in an acoustic world full of harmonicity. Given the widespread existence of the harmonicity in many aspects of the hearing environment, it is natural to expect that it be reflected in the evolution and development of the auditory systems of both humans and animals, in particular the auditory cortex. Recent neuroimaging and neurophysiology experiments have identified regions of non-primary auditory cortex in humans and non-human primates that have selective responses to harmonic pitches. Accumulating evidence has also shown that neurons in many regions of the auditory cortex exhibit characteristic responses to harmonically related frequencies beyond the range of pitch. Together, these findings suggest that a fundamental organizational principle of auditory cortex is based on the harmonicity. Such an organization likely plays an important role in music processing by the brain. It may also form the basis of the preference for particular classes of music and voice sounds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number114
JournalFrontiers in Systems Neuroscience
Volume7
Issue numberDEC
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 17 2013

Fingerprint

Auditory Cortex
Music
Acoustics
Animal Vocalization
Neurophysiology
Neuroimaging
Primates
Hearing
Communication
Neurons
Brain

Keywords

  • Auditory cortex
  • Harmonicity
  • Marmoset
  • Music
  • Pitch

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Developmental Neuroscience

Cite this

The harmonic organization of auditory cortex. / Wang, Xiaoqin.

In: Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience, Vol. 7, No. DEC, 114, 17.12.2013.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{c7ab1c18679341e4b24e288654ad4e3e,
title = "The harmonic organization of auditory cortex",
abstract = "A fundamental structure of sounds encountered in the natural environment is the harmonicity. Harmonicity is an essential component of music found in all cultures. It is also a unique feature of vocal communication sounds such as human speech and animal vocalizations. Harmonics in sounds are produced by a variety of acoustic generators and reflectors in the natural environment, including vocal apparatuses of humans and animal species as well as music instruments of many types. We live in an acoustic world full of harmonicity. Given the widespread existence of the harmonicity in many aspects of the hearing environment, it is natural to expect that it be reflected in the evolution and development of the auditory systems of both humans and animals, in particular the auditory cortex. Recent neuroimaging and neurophysiology experiments have identified regions of non-primary auditory cortex in humans and non-human primates that have selective responses to harmonic pitches. Accumulating evidence has also shown that neurons in many regions of the auditory cortex exhibit characteristic responses to harmonically related frequencies beyond the range of pitch. Together, these findings suggest that a fundamental organizational principle of auditory cortex is based on the harmonicity. Such an organization likely plays an important role in music processing by the brain. It may also form the basis of the preference for particular classes of music and voice sounds.",
keywords = "Auditory cortex, Harmonicity, Marmoset, Music, Pitch",
author = "Xiaoqin Wang",
year = "2013",
month = "12",
day = "17",
doi = "10.3389/fnsys.2013.00114",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "7",
journal = "Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience",
issn = "1662-5137",
publisher = "Frontiers Research Foundation",
number = "DEC",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - The harmonic organization of auditory cortex

AU - Wang, Xiaoqin

PY - 2013/12/17

Y1 - 2013/12/17

N2 - A fundamental structure of sounds encountered in the natural environment is the harmonicity. Harmonicity is an essential component of music found in all cultures. It is also a unique feature of vocal communication sounds such as human speech and animal vocalizations. Harmonics in sounds are produced by a variety of acoustic generators and reflectors in the natural environment, including vocal apparatuses of humans and animal species as well as music instruments of many types. We live in an acoustic world full of harmonicity. Given the widespread existence of the harmonicity in many aspects of the hearing environment, it is natural to expect that it be reflected in the evolution and development of the auditory systems of both humans and animals, in particular the auditory cortex. Recent neuroimaging and neurophysiology experiments have identified regions of non-primary auditory cortex in humans and non-human primates that have selective responses to harmonic pitches. Accumulating evidence has also shown that neurons in many regions of the auditory cortex exhibit characteristic responses to harmonically related frequencies beyond the range of pitch. Together, these findings suggest that a fundamental organizational principle of auditory cortex is based on the harmonicity. Such an organization likely plays an important role in music processing by the brain. It may also form the basis of the preference for particular classes of music and voice sounds.

AB - A fundamental structure of sounds encountered in the natural environment is the harmonicity. Harmonicity is an essential component of music found in all cultures. It is also a unique feature of vocal communication sounds such as human speech and animal vocalizations. Harmonics in sounds are produced by a variety of acoustic generators and reflectors in the natural environment, including vocal apparatuses of humans and animal species as well as music instruments of many types. We live in an acoustic world full of harmonicity. Given the widespread existence of the harmonicity in many aspects of the hearing environment, it is natural to expect that it be reflected in the evolution and development of the auditory systems of both humans and animals, in particular the auditory cortex. Recent neuroimaging and neurophysiology experiments have identified regions of non-primary auditory cortex in humans and non-human primates that have selective responses to harmonic pitches. Accumulating evidence has also shown that neurons in many regions of the auditory cortex exhibit characteristic responses to harmonically related frequencies beyond the range of pitch. Together, these findings suggest that a fundamental organizational principle of auditory cortex is based on the harmonicity. Such an organization likely plays an important role in music processing by the brain. It may also form the basis of the preference for particular classes of music and voice sounds.

KW - Auditory cortex

KW - Harmonicity

KW - Marmoset

KW - Music

KW - Pitch

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84890874379&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84890874379&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.3389/fnsys.2013.00114

DO - 10.3389/fnsys.2013.00114

M3 - Article

VL - 7

JO - Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience

JF - Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience

SN - 1662-5137

IS - DEC

M1 - 114

ER -