Newborn infants process pitch intervals

Gábor Stefanics, Gábor P. Háden, I. Sziller, László Balázs, Anna Beke, I. Winkler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

54 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: We investigated whether the auditory system of newborn babies extracts the constancy of a pitch interval from exemplars varying in absolute pitch. Methods: Event-related brain potentials (ERP) were recorded from healthy newborn infants in an oddball paradigm consisting of frequent standard and infrequent deviant tone pairs. Tone pairs varied in absolute frequency. Standard and deviant pairs differed in the amount of pitch difference within the pairs, but not in the direction of pitch change. Results: Deviant tone pairs elicited a discriminative ERP response. Conclusions: This result suggests that the neonate auditory system represents pitch intervals similarly to adults. Significance: Adult-like processing of pitch intervals allows newborn infants to learn music, speech prosody, and to process various important auditory cues based on spectral acoustic features.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)304-308
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Neurophysiology
Volume120
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2009

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Newborn Infant
Evoked Potentials
Brain
Music
Acoustics
Cues
Direction compound

Keywords

  • Development
  • Event-related brain potentials (ERP)
  • Mismatch negativity (MMN)
  • Neonates
  • Pitch perception
  • Relative pitch

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Sensory Systems

Cite this

Newborn infants process pitch intervals. / Stefanics, Gábor; Háden, Gábor P.; Sziller, I.; Balázs, László; Beke, Anna; Winkler, I.

In: Clinical Neurophysiology, Vol. 120, No. 2, 02.2009, p. 304-308.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Stefanics, G, Háden, GP, Sziller, I, Balázs, L, Beke, A & Winkler, I 2009, 'Newborn infants process pitch intervals', Clinical Neurophysiology, vol. 120, no. 2, pp. 304-308. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clinph.2008.11.020
Stefanics, Gábor ; Háden, Gábor P. ; Sziller, I. ; Balázs, László ; Beke, Anna ; Winkler, I. / Newborn infants process pitch intervals. In: Clinical Neurophysiology. 2009 ; Vol. 120, No. 2. pp. 304-308.
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