EEG frontal asymmetry related to pleasantness of music perception in healthy children and cochlear implanted users.

Author: Vecchiato G, Maglione AG, Scorpecci A, Malerba P, Marsella P, Di Francesco G, Vitiello S, Colosimo A, Babiloni F.
Conference/Journal: Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc.
Date published: 2012 Aug
Other: Volume ID: 2012 , Pages: 4740-3 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1109/EMBC.2012.6347026. , Word Count: 253

Interestingly, the international debate about the quality of music fruition for cochlear implanted users does not take into account the hypothesis that bilateral users could perceive music in a more pleasant way with respect to monolateral users. In this scenario, the aim of the present study was to investigate if cerebral signs of pleasantness during music perception in healthy child are similar to those observed in monolateral and in bilateral cochlear implanted users. In fact, previous observations in literature on healthy subjects have indicated that variations of the frontal EEG alpha activity are correlated with the perceived pleasantness of the sensory stimulation received (approach-withdrawal theory). In particular, here we described differences between cortical activities estimated in the alpha frequency band for a healthy child and in patients having a monolateral or a bilateral cochlear implant during the fruition of a musical cartoon. The results of the present analysis showed that the alpha EEG asymmetry patterns observed in a healthy child and that of a bilateral cochlear implanted patient are congruent with the approach-withdrawal theory. Conversely, the scalp topographic distribution of EEG power spectra in the alpha band resulting from the monolateral cochlear user presents a different EEG pattern from the normal and bilateral implanted patients. Such differences could be explained at the light of the approach-withdrawal theory. In fact, the present findings support the hypothesis that a monolateral cochlear implanted user could perceive the music in a less pleasant way when compared to a healthy subject or to a bilateral cochlear user.
PMID: 23366987