Auditory Neuroscience Papers Collection (2016)

Auditory Neuroscience Papers Collection (2016)

Auditory Neuroscience Papers Collection (2016)
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Auditory Neuroscience studies the way in which the brain and central nervous system transduces, processes, and perceives sound, including speech, music, and environmental noise. Its clinical applications include treatments for physical impairments such as hearing loss, and therapeutic interventions that alleviate psychological conditions such as depression and anxiety. Consequently, the purview of Auditory Neuroscience embraces a broad yet highly focused spectrum of methods and principles.
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Abstracts & Papers

Auditory Processing is the means by which sensory receptivity to the physical source of sound is parsed, transduced, and encoded by neural pathways and ensembles, and appropriated into perception.

It is this process that enables animals to interpret the significance of sound, which includes a broad range of neurophysiological processes, from assessing the likelihood of danger associated with a noise to interpreting complex arrangements of sound as music.

Auditory Processing thereby begins where sensory sensors detect acoustic vibration, which for humans is primarily the ears; and it ends with the psychophysiological response to that sensation and its cognitive assimilation.

The following abstracts and papers provide a point of introduction to this subject, which is central to therapeutic and clinical interventions in both physical and mental health, being the means by which we hear and experience subjective responses to sounds, as well as being an integral subject to the treatment of physical conditions, including hearing loss and auditory processing disorders.

Abstracts & Papers

Binaural Beats are perceptual illusions resulting from the way that human auditory processing transduces the dichotic hearing of two slightly different low physical frequencies in a way that precipitates the perception of two pitches derived from the physical frequency of the source played to each ear, and the illusion of a third pitch or 'beat' that correlates with the frequency difference between them.

Binaural Beats are an artefact of inter-aural differences, which contribute to the way sound is geolocated; and they consequently have investigative use in the assessment and diagnosis of hearing impairments.

In addition, Binaural Beats, being in the range of cortical neural oscillations, can precipitate the entrainment of those 'brainwaves' to the frequency correlating to the perceived pitch of the illusory beat, especially when situated in musical compositions, with subsequent alterations in subjective experience and electroencephalographic profile.

Because the pitch of a Binaural Beat is perceived in the absence of a correlating sound source frequency, studying their correlating neural process provides an opportunity to understand the relationship between acoustic stimuli and their perceptive and cognitive assimilation. The following papers and abstracts provide an overview of this subject, including several landmark papers such as the 1973 Scientific American article by Gerald Oster.

Abstracts & Papers

Motor entrainment is a well-established subject of study in music, ethnomusicology, as well as social and biological psychology, all of which examine the way animals generally, and humans specifically entrain their motility to the rhythm and periodicity of external external acoustic patterns.

Motor entrainment also has therapeutic and clinical applications, where impairments to neuro-motor functions can be significantly improved when subjects learn to synchronize motility to external acoustic stimuli.

Brainwave Entrainment meanwhile is a specific form of neural synchronization by which the predominant frequency of oscillations made by groups or ensembles of cortical neurons adjust to match the frequency of an external acoustic stimulus.

This occurs with most predictability in lower frequencies, where the perceived pitch of a sound is close to the bands of neural oscillations that contribute to an electroencephalographic profile.

Because the transient patterns of that profile are correlated with specific mental states and physiological conditions, brainwave entrainment, when appropriated into musical compositions, can be used therapeutically to precipitate positive psychophysiological changes.

The following papers and abstracts provide a point of introduction to this subject.

Abstracts & Papers

Hypnosis has remained a subject of controversy since its early European roots, often polarizing clinicians and scientists on its merits, while still others purport it to be founded on pseudoscience.

Meanwhile, the American Psychological Association, along with other international bodies of repute, accept its use as a therapeutic intervention.

From an Auditory Neuroscience perspective, hypnosis is a valuable subject of study, notwithstanding such controversy, because it depends almost entirely on the acoustic stimulus of a human voice, and the way that sound source alleges precipitates cognitive changes to attention, peripheral awareness, and suggestibility.

Auditory Neuroscience studies the process by which acoustic stimuli, especially the voice and speech of a 'hypnotist' or 'hypnotherapist', is perceived by the subject, and the measurable psychophysiological responses, as well as the subjective experiences her or she has as a result.

The following papers and abstracts provide an overview of the scope of this subject.

Abstracts & Papers

Among the intriguing discoveries derived from recent auditory neuroscientific research is that activation of the auditory cortex does not depend upon external acoustic stimuli. Mentally rehearsing intended speech, verbal thinking, and silently recalling a song are examples of stimulas-independent processes that activate the auditory cortex, which is also involved in the creative and imaginative processes of writing music.

Among the unvoiced mental contents that engage the auditory cortex, inner speech, the means by which a subject is able to hold an unspoken dialogue of intrapersonal communication with himself or herself, remains a subject of substantial psychological study.

The interest derives from the degree to which Inner Speech, and the subjective interpretations it expresses, influence self-perception; and cognitive approaches to psychotherapy pay particular attention to amending the counterfactual distortions inherent in inner speech, with subsequent positive alterations to self-perception.

Inner Speech is now not only a subject pertinent to cognitive psychology, but also to auditory neuroscience, which is beginning to explain the underlying neurophysiological processes to the act of talking to ourselves.

The following abstracts and papers offer an overview of this field.

Abstracts & Papers

Isochronous rhythms or Isochronic Tones are sounds that repeat with a consistently even phase, such that the intermittent sound and silence have a constant frequency, unaffected by the physical frequency and perceived pitch of the sound-source itself.

Such isochronology is a ubiquitous feature of music, and a feature of entrainment, by which animals synchronize motor activity with the periodicity and frequency of external acoustic stimuli.

The study of Isochronic Tones and their effect on listeners provides an insight into the way in which motor activity is influenced by perceived sound stimuli.

In addition, listening to Isochronic Tones, especially when contextualized in music, has been shown to precipitate changes in electroencephalographic profile, with correlating psychophysiological alterations; they thereby have therapeutic use.

The following abstracts and papers offer an insight into this subject.

Abstracts & Papers

Meditation has been the subject of significant neuroscientific inquiry during the 21st century, notwithstanding the lack of any singular or stable definition of the practice among researchers or practitioners.

Setting definition aside, it is clear that the array of mental practices to which the term Meditation refers each involve changes to attentional control, psychophysiological alterations associated with relaxation, and a metacognition by which thoughts and feelings are perceived as transient and do not stimulate motor reaction or cognitive analysis.

The dissemination of originally Asian meditative and contemplative practices in the West, which began towards the end of the nineteenth century, became exponentially popular from the middle of the twentieth century, with the availability of recorded media, tapes, compact discs, and later digital formats, which use verbal instruction, sound, and music to facilitate Mediation among listeners.

Consequently, as with hypnosis, Auditory Neuroscience can approach Meditation with intent to discover how such acoustic stimuli contributes to the psychophysiological and neurobiological changes that occur during meditative practice, and correlate with self-reported alterations in attentional control and subjective perception of self and environment.

The following abstracts and papers offer an overview and introduction to this field.

Abstracts & Papers

Music has been the subject of exponential scientific inquiry over the past twenty years, accompanied by fervent debate about its evolutionary significance, being ubiquitously integral to human social behavior.

Meanwhile, therapeutic and clinical applications of Music, for which there is ample scientific evidence of efficacy, are integral to a wide range of physical and mental health services.

Auditory Neuroscience studies the underlying neural mechanisms and processes to Music listening and Music making. It seeks to understand the relationship between cognition, emotion, and perception, in an attempt to discern the role of preference in determining varied psychophysiological reactions to the same Music among groups of listeners, and appreciate the complex transductions that make it possible for patterns of sound to precipitate feelings such as fear and joy, with correlating neurobiological responses.

The following abstracts and papers offer an insight into this expanding field.

Abstracts & Papers

Neural Synchronization refers to the way in which groups or ensembles of neurons act in a coordinated manner according to organizing principles that make the transduction of acoustic stimuli possible.

In addition to the volley principle, by which ensembles of neurons within the auditory processing system fire with discreet and different phases that combine to encode a sum frequency of sound, such coordinated synchrony is integral to many other sensory, cognitive, and perceptual processes.

That sound and neural action potential both have frequency and phase periodicity affords Auditory Neuroscience a particularly fascinating perspective, which can reveal, for example, the way that the physical frequency of acoustic stimuli is transduced and encoded to provide a reliable and consistent perception of pitch.

The following abstracts and papers offer an overview of this area.

Abstracts & Papers

Neurologic Music Therapy is the clinical and therapeutic use of making and listening to music as a means to treat or improve a range of sensory, cognitive, and motor conditions and dysfunctions.

Whilst traditionally, music therapy has remained routed in psychodynamic, psychoanalytic, and psychological principles, with close connection to artistic practice and creative process, Neurologic Music Therapy resituates the intervention in the context of neurobiology, using music to stimulate those areas of the brain that process not only the perception of musical stimuli, but also a range of cognitive and motor functions.

Exploiting the multimodal nature of brain areas, Neurologic Music Therapy uses the artistic and interpretive process of making and listening to music as the means by which to improve other non-musical functions.

The following abstracts and papers offer an initial introduction to this emerging field of inquiry.

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