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Re: The climb of absolute pitch

Yes, in humans generally, and probably in most mammals, pitch rise usually is a more important signal than pitch fall. It often is a sign of stress or alarm, whereas pitch fall often is a sign of the opposite.

Chuck, was there no upward-downward difference in the RP musicians at all? Or was the effect just weaker than in the AP musicians?


----- Original Message ----- From: "Leon van Noorden" <leonvannoorden@xxxxxxx>
To: <AUDITORY@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Wednesday, December 05, 2012 9:59 AM
Subject: Re: The climb of absolute pitch

The only suggestion I have on this that in speech (at least in Dutch)
the - un-accented - pitch goes gradually down during a sentence.
Listeners are usually not aware of this.
Against this background a rise of 100 cents is more of a signal dan going down 100 cents. That AP have a stronger effect could indicate that they have a stronger connection
to the pitch of their voice, which is proposed in some theories.


On 04 Dec 2012, at 23:38, Chuck Larson wrote:

To all of you experts on absolute pitch, I have a question for you.

I've been following your discussion on AP musicians in hopes that I would
learn something from you that would explain some of our EEG results. We
have tested musicians with absolute pitch and relative pitch on a
vocalization experiment in which they heard their voice (through
headphones) either shift up 100 cents or down 100 cents. The shifting was
done with a harmonizer.  We also recorded ERPs triggered by the onset of
the pitch-shift stimulus.  In general the musicians with AP had larger
magnitude left hemisphere potentials (P200) than did the relative pitch
musicians.  However, we also noted that for the UPWARD pitch-shift
stimulus, the P200 in the AP musicians, in contrast to the RP musicians,
was more strongly left lateralized than for DOWNWARD pitch shifts.  I am
trying to figure out why an upward shift in voice pitch auditory feedback
in AP musicians would show stronger left hemisphere activation than a
downward pitch shift.

I'D greatly appreciate any ideas you may have on this.