Music Processing After Brain Damage: The Case of Rhythm Without Melody

  • Isabelle Peretz
  • Sylvie Hébert


Brain injury can drastically impair musical activities while sparing intellectual and linguistic abilities (see Marin 1982, and Basso 1993, for reviews). Conversely, musicianship can be maintained following brain insult that results in severe global cognitive decline (Beatty, Zavadil, Bailly and al. 1988). These facts suggest that musical abilities are specific functions that are subserved by a neural architecture dedicated to music processing (Peretz and Morais 1993; Sergent et al. 1992). Music is, however, not a monolithic entity. Examination of amusic patients leads to the fascinating realization that music cognition is not affected in its entirety, but in particular abilities only. The selective nature of some of these disorders will be the focus of the present paper. The central idea is that these deficits provide a rich source of information for the understanding of normal music cognition.


Stroop Effect Stroop Interference Auditory Scene Analysis Musical Ability Music Cognition 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Isabelle Peretz
  • Sylvie Hébert

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