Food & Paper: The Neuronal Processing of Musical Sound Sequences

For Food & Paper this week we are delighted to welcome guest speaker David R. Quiroga-Martinez (Center for Music in the Brain, Aarhus University).

RITMO emblem and portrait photograph of a smiling David R. Quiroga-Martinez


Prediction plays a fundamental role in the processing of musical sound sequences. Yet, we know very little about how these predictions unfold in the presence of more complex and realistic music than typically used in the lab. In this talk, I will show a whole line of evidence suggesting that the increased predictive uncertainty of complex melodies strongly affects the way our brain perceives and processes unexpected sounds. This is interesting because the interplay between surprise and uncertainty has been hypothesized to be important for the perception and enjoyment of music. In the last part of the talk, I will give a glimpse into emerging research projects that make use of intracranial recordings to investigate music processing beyond sensory auditory areas. These projects focus on the neural correlates of the sensation of groove, musical memory and musical imagination.


David studies how the brain processes sequences of sounds, in particular music. He uses EEG, MEG and now iEEG to understand auditory memory and predictive processing. He has been working at the Center for Music in the Brain in Aarhus, Denmark, where he also did his PhD. David will be joining Dr. Robert Kinght's lab at UC Berkeley in January 2022 to investigate the neural correlates of working memory and imagery for musical sound sequences.

Published Nov. 1, 2021 3:03 PM - Last modified Apr. 9, 2022 8:43 PM