The nonlinear resonance hypothesis of music perception was tested in an experiment comparing a group of musically sophisticated and a group of less sophisticated subjects. The prediction that weakly chaotic music entrains less complex brain wave (EEG) oscillations at the prefrontal cortex was confirmed by using a correlational dimension algorithm. Strongly chaotic (stochastic) and periodic music both stimulated higher brain wave complexity. More sophisticated subjects who prefer classical music showed higher EEG dimensions while less sophisticated subjects responded with a drop in brain wave complexity to rhythmical weakly chaotic music. Subjects ratings of perceived complexity of the musical pieces followed mathematical (objective) structure of the music and did not reflect the changes in brain wave complexity. The results are interpreted in the context of an associated (Hebbian) network theory of nonlinear brain dynamics.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Mathematics