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Music Perception in Dementia.

Golden, HL; Clark, CN; Nicholas, JM; Cohen, MH; Slattery, CF; Paterson, RW; Foulkes, AJM; Schott, JM; Mummery, CJ; Crutch, SJ; et al. Golden, HL; Clark, CN; Nicholas, JM; Cohen, MH; Slattery, CF; Paterson, RW; Foulkes, AJM; Schott, JM; Mummery, CJ; Crutch, SJ; Warren, JD (2017) Music Perception in Dementia. J Alzheimers Dis, 55 (3). pp. 933-949. ISSN 1875-8908
SGUL Authors: Clark, Camilla Neegaard

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Despite much recent interest in music and dementia, music perception has not been widely studied across dementia syndromes using an information processing approach. Here we addressed this issue in a cohort of 30 patients representing major dementia syndromes of typical Alzheimer's disease (AD, n = 16), logopenic aphasia (LPA, an Alzheimer variant syndrome; n = 5), and progressive nonfluent aphasia (PNFA; n = 9) in relation to 19 healthy age-matched individuals. We designed a novel neuropsychological battery to assess perception of musical patterns in the dimensions of pitch and temporal information (requiring detection of notes that deviated from the established pattern based on local or global sequence features) and musical scene analysis (requiring detection of a familiar tune within polyphonic harmony). Performance on these tests was referenced to generic auditory (timbral) deviance detection and recognition of familiar tunes and adjusted for general auditory working memory performance. Relative to healthy controls, patients with AD and LPA had group-level deficits of global pitch (melody contour) processing while patients with PNFA as a group had deficits of local (interval) as well as global pitch processing. There was substantial individual variation within syndromic groups. Taking working memory performance into account, no specific deficits of musical temporal processing, timbre processing, musical scene analysis, or tune recognition were identified. The findings suggest that particular aspects of music perception such as pitch pattern analysis may open a window on the processing of information streams in major dementia syndromes. The potential selectivity of musical deficits for particular dementia syndromes and particular dimensions of processing warrants further systematic investigation.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The final publication is available at IOS Press through
Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease, auditory scene analysis, dementia, logopenic aphasia, music, progressive nonfluent aphasia, Acoustic Stimulation, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Auditory Perception, Auditory Perceptual Disorders, Case-Control Studies, Cohort Studies, Dementia, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Music, Neuropsychological Tests, Recognition, Psychology, Statistics as Topic, Statistics, Nonparametric, Humans, Auditory Perceptual Disorders, Dementia, Acoustic Stimulation, Statistics, Nonparametric, Case-Control Studies, Cohort Studies, Recognition (Psychology), Auditory Perception, Neuropsychological Tests, Music, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Middle Aged, Female, Male, Statistics as Topic, Neurology & Neurosurgery, 1103 Clinical Sciences, 1702 Cognitive Sciences, 1109 Neurosciences
SGUL Research Institute / Research Centre: Academic Structure > Molecular and Clinical Sciences Research Institute (MCS)
Journal or Publication Title: J Alzheimers Dis
ISSN: 1875-8908
Language: eng
6 December 2016Published Online
7 September 2016Accepted
Project IDFunderFunder ID
091673/Z/10Wellcome Trust
UNSPECIFIEDMedical Research Council
ES/K006711/1Economic and Social Research Council
PubMed ID: 27802226
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