Address requests for reprints to: M. Besson, C.N.R.S.-LNF 1,31. Chemin Joseph-Aiguier, 13402 Marseille Cedex 9, France.
An Event-Related Potential Analysis of Incongruity in Music and Other Non-Linguistic Contexts
Article first published online: 30 JAN 2007
Volume 24, Issue 1, pages 14–25, January 1987
How to Cite
Besson, M. and Macar, F. (1987), An Event-Related Potential Analysis of Incongruity in Music and Other Non-Linguistic Contexts. Psychophysiology, 24: 14–25. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8986.1987.tb01853.x
This research was supported by the National Ministry for Industry and Research. Grant 83 C 0913. M. Besson was supported by fellowships from the Fyssen and Medical Research Foundations. We wish to thank G. Reynard, M. Chiambretto, and R. Fayolle for technical support, and C.A. Possamai for statistical advice. We are indebted to Marta Kutas for helpful comments and corrections on earlier drafts. Preliminary reports of this study were presented at the Third International Conference on Cognitive Neuroscience, September 17–21, 1984, Bristol (England), and at the 1984 annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience.
- Issue published online: 30 JAN 2007
- Article first published online: 30 JAN 2007
- (Manuscript received November 25, 1985; accepted for publication July 16, 1986)
- Non-linguistic incongruities;
- Learned vs. over-learned mechanisms;
- Event-related potentials
This study was designed to determine whether the N400 component, described by Kutas and Hillyard as an index of semantic expectancy, would he elicited by deviations involving non-linguistic expectancies. The stimuli within the four experimental conditions included: 1) sentences, 2) geometric patterns of increasing or decreasing size, 3) scale-notes of increasing or decreasing frequency, and 4) well-known French melodies. An N400 appeared only following semantic incongruities within sentences. Non-linguistic deviations were followed by a late positivity whose amplitude varied across conditions. These results are consistent with an interpretation of N400 as an index of the further processing required by linguistic incongruities rather than by violations of arbitrary or over learned rules in general. However, alternative interpretations exist and are discussed.