Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
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Thesis defense Rebecca Schaefer (Donders Series 67)

September 1, 2011.

Promotor: Prof. dr. P.W.M. Desain, copromotors: dr. J.D.R. Farquhar, dr. W.F.G. Haselager

Measuring the Mind's Ear: EEG of Music Imagery

In this thesis, a number of studies are presented in which the electrical acytivity of the brain is measured while perceiving and imagining music, or components of music such as rhythm or melody. The main conclusion is that there is a lot of activation that is shared between these two tasks, and that it looks like the brain mechanisms used for 'normal' perception are also used in active imagination. There is also activation that is specific to both perception and imagination, showing that imagining is based on more than a just perceptual mechanisms. Furthermore, by decomposing the measured brain activity, it is shown that rhythmic aspects of music are seen more clearly in the brain's electical signal than melodic aspects, as well as a considerable range of variation between subjects.