Music-related Memory - Semantic Vs. Episodic

Semantic Vs. Episodic

Platel (2005) defined musical semantic memory as memory for pieces without memory for the temporal or spatial elements; and musical episodic memory as memory for pieces and the context in which they were learned. It was found that two distinct patterns of neural activations existed when comparing semantic and episodic components of musical memory. Controlling for processes of early auditory analysis, working memory and mental imagery, Platel found that retrieval of semantic musical memory involved activation in the right inferior and middle frontal gyri, the superior and inferior right temporal gyri, the right anterior cingulate gyrus and parietal lobe region. There was also some activation in the middle and inferior frontal gyri in the left hemisphere. Retrieval of episodic musical memory resulted in activation bilaterally in the middle and superior frontal gyri and the precuneus. Although bilateral activation was found there was dominance in the right hemisphere. This research suggests independence of episodic and semantic musical memory. The Levitin Effect demonstrates accurate semantic memory for musical pitch and tempo among listeners, even without musical training, and without episodic memory of the original learning context.

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