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Reward prediction errors arising from switches between major and minor modes in music: An fMRI study

Chen-Gia TsaiYi-Fan FuChia-Wei Li
Dec 2022
摘要
Evidence has accumulated that prediction error processing plays a role in theenjoyment of music listening. The present study examined listeners' neuralresponses to the signed reward prediction errors (RPEs) arising from switchesbetween major and minor modes in music. We manipulated the final chord of J. S.Bach's keyboard pieces so that each major-mode passage ended with either themajor (Major-Major) or minor (Major-Minor) tonic chord, and each minor-modepassage ended with either the minor (Minor-Minor) or major (Minor-Major) tonicchord. In Western music, the major and minor modes have positive and negativeconnotations, respectively. Therefore, the outcome of the final chord inMajor-Minor stimuli was associated with negative RPE, whereas that inMinor-Major was associated with positive RPE. Twenty-three musicallyexperienced adults underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging whilelistening to Major-Major, Major-Minor, Minor-Minor, and Minor-Major stimuli. Wefound that activity in the subgenual anterior cingulate cortex (extending intothe ventromedial prefrontal cortex) during the final chord for Major-Major wassignificantly higher than that for Major-Minor. Conversely, a frontoparietalnetwork for Major-Minor exhibited significantly increased activity compared toMajor-Major. The contrasts between Minor-Minor and Minor-Major yielded regionsimplicated in interoception. We discuss our results in relation to executivefunctions and the emotional connotations of major versus minor mode.
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