OUR STUDY INVESTIGATED THE PERCEPTION of pitch and time dimensions in chord sequences by patients with cerebellar damage. In eight-chord sequences, tonal relatedness and temporal regularity of the chords were manipulated and their processing was tested with indirect and direct investigation methods (i.e., priming paradigm in Experiment 1; subjective judgments of completion and temporal regularity in Experiments 2 and 3). Experiment 1 replicated a musical relatedness effect despite cerebellar damage (see Tillmann, Justus, & Bigand, 2008) and Experiment 2 extended it to completion judgments. This outcome suggests that an intact cerebellum is not mandatory to access tonal knowledge. However, data on temporal manipulations suggest that the cerebellum is involved in the processing of temporal regularities in music. The comparison between task performances obtained for the same sequences further suggests that the altered processing of temporal structures in patients impairs the rapid development of musical expectations on the time dimension.
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