Jongsma, M.L.A., Desain, P., Honing, H., Van Rijn, C.M., Jenks, K.M., and Coenen, A.M.L. (2002) AEP P300 modulation by two different temporal contexts in both rhythmically trained and non-trained subjects. Cognitive Neuroscience Society Ninth Annual Meeting, A94, pg 37.


This study we investigated how rhythmical context influences Auditory Evoked Potentials (AEPs). In addition, we determined if musicians were more sensitive to metric context then non-musicians.

We presented probe-beats on 7 different position within a test-bar. Probe-beats were preceded by either a duple- or triple meter rhythm. We hypothesised that sequential processing would lead to a maximal context effect on the 1/3 position, whereas hierarchical processing would lead to a maximal context effect on the 1/4 position. Besides the AEPs, behavioural ratings were obtained.

We found a maximal difference between metrical contexts of non-musicians on the 1/position probe-beat and of musicians on the 1/4 position probe-beat, for both AEP P3 amplitude and judgemental ratings.

Therefore, our results from non-musicians support the view that temporal patterns are processed sequentially. In contrast, results from musicians are best described as hierarchical processing. Metric expectations thus influence both behaviour and the AEP P3.