The acquisition process of musical tonal schema: implications from connectionist modeling

Rie Matsunaga, Pitoyo Hartono, Jun-ichi Abe
2015 Frontiers in Psychology  
Using connectionist modeling, we address fundamental questions concerning the acquisition process of musical tonal schema of listeners. Compared to models of previous studies, our connectionist model (Learning Network for Tonal Schema, LeNTS) was better equipped to fulfill three basic requirements. Specifically, LeNTS was equipped with a learning mechanism, bound by culture-general properties, and trained by sufficient melody materials. When exposed to Western music, LeNTS acquired musical
more » ... e' sensitivity early and 'harmony' sensitivity later. The order of acquisition of scale and harmony sensitivities shown by LeNTS was consistent with the culture-specific acquisition order shown by musically westernized children. The implications of these results for the acquisition process of a tonal schema of listeners are as follows: (a) the acquisition process may entail small and incremental changes, rather than large and stage-like changes, in corresponding neural circuits; (b) the speed of schema acquisition may mainly depend on musical experiences rather than maturation; and (c) the learning principles of schema acquisition may be culturally invariant while the acquired tonal schemas are varied with exposed culture-specific music.
doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01348 pmid:26441725 pmcid:PMC4564654 fatcat:4tl427av7jemrbz3gwju2ce53u