AUDITORY AND VESTIBULAR SYSTEMSA neurophysiological study into the foundations of tonal harmonyBergelson, Elikaa c; Idsardi, William J.a b Author Information aDepartment of Linguistics bNeuroscience and Cognitive Science Program, University of Maryland, Maryland cDepartment of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA Correspondence to Elika Bergelson, Institute for Research in Cognitive Science, University of Pennsylvania, 3401 Walnut, Suite 400A, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6228, USA Tel: +1 614 598 6937; fax: +1 215 573 9247; e-mail: [email protected] Received 28 September 2008 accepted 8 October 2008 NeuroReport: February 18, 2009 - Volume 20 - Issue 3 - p 239-244 doi: 10.1097/WNR.0b013e32831ddebf Buy Metrics Abstract Our findings provide magnetoencephalographic evidence that the mismatch-negativity response to two-note chords (dyads) is modulated by a combination of abstract cognitive differences and lower-level differences in the auditory signal. Participants were presented with series of simple-ratio sinusoidal dyads (perfect fourths and perfect fifths) in which the difference between the standard and deviant dyad exhibited an interval change, a shift in pitch space, or both. In addition, the standard-deviant pair of dyads either shared one note or both notes were changed. Only the condition that featured both abstract changes (interval change and pitch-space shift) and two novel notes showed a significantly larger magnetoencephalographic mismatch-negativity response than the other conditions in the right hemisphere. Implications for music and language processing are discussed. © 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.