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Hippocampal sclerosis affects fMR-adaptation of lyric and melodies in songs

Abstract : Songs constitute a natural combination of lyrics and melodies, but it is unclear whether and how these two song components are integrated during the emergence of a memory trace. Network theories of memory suggest a prominent role of the hippocampus, together with unimodal sensory areas, in the build-up of conjunctive representations. The present study tested the modulatory influence of the hippocampus on neural adaptation to songs in lateral temporal areas. Patients with unilateral hippocampal sclerosis and healthy matched controls were presented with blocks of short songs in which lyrics and/or melodies were varied or repeated in a crossed factorial design. Neural adaptation effects were taken as correlates of incidental emergent memory traces. We hypothesized that hippocampal lesions, particularly in the left hemisphere, would weaken adaptation effects, especially the integration of lyrics and melodies. Results revealed that lateral temporal lobe regions showed weaker adaptation to repeated lyrics as well as a reduced interaction of the adaptation effects for lyrics and melodies in patients with left hippocampal sclerosis. This suggests a deficient build-up of a sensory memory trace for lyrics and a reduced integration of lyrics with melodies, compared to healthy controls. Patients with right hippocampal sclerosis showed a similar profile of results although the effects did not reach significance in this population. We highlight the finding that the integrated representation of lyrics and melodies typically shown in healthy participants is likely tied to the integrity of the left medial temporal lobe. This novel finding provides the first neuroimaging evidence for the role of the hippocampus during repetitive exposure to lyrics and melodies and their integration into a song.
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Irene Alonso, Daniela Sammler, Romain Valabrègue, Vera Dinkelacker, Sophie Dupont, et al.. Hippocampal sclerosis affects fMR-adaptation of lyric and melodies in songs. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, Frontiers, 2014, 8, pp.111. ⟨10.3389/fnhum.2014.00111⟩. ⟨hal-01320115⟩

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