Effective connectivity associated with auditory error detection in musicians with absolute pitch

Amy L. Parkinson*, Roozbeh Behroozmand, Nadine Ibrahim, Oleg Korzyukov, Charles R. Larson, Donald A. Robin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


It is advantageous to study a wide range of vocal abilities in order to fully understand how vocal control measures vary across the full spectrum. Individuals with absolute pitch (AP) are able to assign a verbal label to musical notes and have enhanced abilities in pitch identification without reliance on an external referent. In this study we used dynamic causal modeling (DCM) to model effective connectivity of ERP responses to pitch perturbation in voice auditory feedback in musicians with relative pitch (RP), AP, and non-musician controls. We identified a network compromising left and right hemisphere superior temporal gyrus (STG), primary motor cortex (M1), and premotor cortex (PM). We specified nine models and compared two main factors examining various combinations of STG involvement in feedback pitch error detection/correction process. Our results suggest that modulation of left to right STG connections are important in the identification of self-voice error and sensory motor integration in AP musicians. We also identify reduced connectivity of left hemisphere PM to STG connections in AP and RP groups during the error detection and corrections process relative to non-musicians. We suggest that this suppression may allow for enhanced connectivity relating to pitch identification in the right hemisphere in those with more precise pitch matching abilities. Musicians with enhanced pitch identification abilities likely have an improved auditory error detection and correction system involving connectivity of STG regions. Our findings here also suggest that individuals with AP are more adept at using feedback related to pitch from the right hemisphere.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number46
JournalFrontiers in Neuroscience
Issue number8 MAR
StatePublished - 2014


  • Absolute pitch
  • Auditory feedback
  • DCM
  • ERP
  • Pitch shift
  • Vocalization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Effective connectivity associated with auditory error detection in musicians with absolute pitch'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this