Whether or not processing of music by the brain can be reflected in an ongoing EEG was studied in a group of 75 healthy students. The parameters considered were location, power, frequency, and coherence. By means of the Fisher permutation test, significant changes of these parameters with respect to control EEG periods were computed and represented as probability maps of brain electrical activity. In spite of the great individual differences in musical ability, education, and interest of the subjects, a number of specific group differences of the EEG parameters could be elucidated for different musical tasks. Significant differences were also seen between the groups of musically trained and untrained subjects, both during listening and even in their EEGs at rest. In addition, considerable sex differences were observed. Part of these differences, particularly those of the parameter power, are most likely caused by the different degrees of attention elicited by these tasks. The greater part of the observed changes, however, concerns coherence and thus conceivably reflects different degrees of the functional cooperation of two adjacent brain regions or the two hemispheres in several musical perception tasks.

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