Abstract

Musical improvisation is a sophisticated cognitive process that combines creativity, goal-directed action, sensory monitoring and social interaction. With a renewed interest in quantifying creative processes facilitated by recent advances in neuroimaging technology, musical improvisation has emerged as an ideal paradigm to study creativity. However, many studies isolate the top-down processes related to creativity from those related to production and auditory perception, leaving the question of how creative behaviours integrate sensory information with higher cognitive processes unanswered. The bottom-up neural correlates of music perception have been extensively quantified, comprising networks for auditory processing and parsing semantic and syntactic content. In studies of spontaneously generated music and domain-general creativity, executive control and goal-directed movement networks are added to the perceptual foundation. This review summarises previous work on music perception and improvisation and presents a conceptual model of musical improvisation with known neural correlates. We make recommendations on future directions for the study of improvisation and discuss the challenges posed by this endeavour.


Authors

Faber, Sarah E. M.;  McIntosh, Anthony R.

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    Decision Letter
    2019/08/27

    27-Aug-2019


    EJN-2019-07-26586.R1


    Toward a standard model of musical improvisation


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    Author Response
    2019/08/22

    Thank you for the letter and to the reviewers for their suggestions. Please see the attached letter for our specific responses.



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  • pre-publication peer review (ROUND 2)
    Decision Letter
    2019/08/22

    22-Aug-2019


    Manuscript Number:EJN-2019-07-26586


    Toward a standard model of musical improvisation


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    Reviews:


    Reviewer: 1


    Comments to the Author


    Dear Author,


    Thank you very much for considering all of the comments. I felt the manuscript was really improved. There is one thing that I would like to indicate. Creativity has been studied across many disciplinary fields. Recently, in both psychologically and neuroscientifically, an important keyword is discussed: intrinsic and extrinsic. For example, motivation stems from two different sources: intrinsic and extrinsic motivation (Schmidhuber, 2010). Intrinsic motivation is a drive from inside an individual for personal interest, satisfaction, goals, etc, whereas extrinsic motivation is a drive coming from outside of a person (i.e., external factors such as specific rewards, approval from others, etc). Although both extrinsic and intrinsic motivation increases creativity in certain cases, extrinsic motivation could impede creativity (Prabhu, Sutton, & Sauser, 2008). Together, divergent thinking and intrinsic motivation may afford creativity in humans. Furthermore, it has been suggested that creativity can be explained as by-products of such intrinsic curiosity rewards (Schmidhuber, 2006). That is, human seems to look for some forms of optimality between uncertain and certain situations through action by which we are expected a maximum curiosity rewards, and hence our action gives rise to increasing as well as decreasing uncertainty (Daikoku, 2019). Recent studies imply that the curiosity rewards encourage humans to create and learn new regularities (Schmidhuber, 2006), and the fluctuations in uncertainty of predictions could contribute to aesthetic appreciation of art and music (Koelsch, 2014). Thus, it is hypothesized that human’s intrinsic curiosity and motivation may modulate optimization and efficiency of prediction and action. Furthermore, a recent study suggested that hippocampus, which is thought to related with uncertainty eocoding (Harrison, Duggins, & Friston, 2006), links the DMN (Ward et al., 2014). Thus, it is hypothesized that uncertainty perception and creativity is interdependent each other.


    Reviewer: 2


    Comments to the Author


    1)This revised manuscript has modified or removed all of the material in response to my suggestions.


    2)Authors should write out in words the meaning of the acronyms ERAN and ERP upon first usage.




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    Reviewer report
    2019/08/17

    1)This revised manuscript has modified or removed all of the material in response to my suggestions.

    2)Authors should write out in words the meaning of the acronyms ERAN and ERP upon first usage.

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    Reviewer report
    2019/08/06

    Dear Author,

    Thank you very much for considering all of the comments. I felt the manuscript was really improved. There is one thing that I would like to indicate. Creativity has been studied across many disciplinary fields. Recently, in both psychologically and neuroscientifically, an important keyword is discussed: intrinsic and extrinsic. For example, motivation stems from two different sources: intrinsic and extrinsic motivation (Schmidhuber, 2010). Intrinsic motivation is a drive from inside an individual for personal interest, satisfaction, goals, etc, whereas extrinsic motivation is a drive coming from outside of a person (i.e., external factors such as specific rewards, approval from others, etc). Although both extrinsic and intrinsic motivation increases creativity in certain cases, extrinsic motivation could impede creativity (Prabhu, Sutton, & Sauser, 2008). Together, divergent thinking and intrinsic motivation may afford creativity in humans. Furthermore, it has been suggested that creativity can be explained as by-products of such intrinsic curiosity rewards (Schmidhuber, 2006). That is, human seems to look for some forms of optimality between uncertain and certain situations through action by which we are expected a maximum curiosity rewards, and hence our action gives rise to increasing as well as decreasing uncertainty (Daikoku, 2019). Recent studies imply that the curiosity rewards encourage humans to create and learn new regularities (Schmidhuber, 2006), and the fluctuations in uncertainty of predictions could contribute to aesthetic appreciation of art and music (Koelsch, 2014). Thus, it is hypothesized that human’s intrinsic curiosity and motivation may modulate optimization and efficiency of prediction and action. Furthermore, a recent study suggested that hippocampus, which is thought to related with uncertainty eocoding (Harrison, Duggins, & Friston, 2006), links the DMN (Ward et al., 2014). Thus, it is hypothesized that uncertainty perception and creativity is interdependent each other.

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    Author Response
    2019/07/23

    We express our thanks for your considered reviews. The manuscript has been extensively revised. Most notably, the sections pertaining to language have been removed and the review now focuses solely on musical improvisation. More recent sources have been added (thank you to the reviewers for providing detailed suggestions), and sections have been added discussing domain-general creativity and temporal dynamics. The figure has also been updated to include more specific information, and has been reformatted to be greyscale-friendly.


    Reviewer: 1


    In this study, the authors reviewed previous neuronal studies (ERP and fMRI) on music and speech perception and production. They also presented a conceptual model of musical improvisation with known neural correlates. The paper is well-written, and the supported by a body of previous studies. I feel the difference of dlPFC and mPFC function seem good topic to understand creativity and intelligence, neuroscientifically. There are, however some points that should be re-considered in the way of writing. There are important references that should be cited. The specific comment is as follows.


    ● Authors: Thank you for your helpful and precise comments. The articles were particularly appreciated and have been added in under relevant sections. Your individual comments are addressed below in sequence:


    — “While improvisation is undoubtedly a creative enterprise implicating a network of higher-order brain regions, it also relies on the integration of low-level networks governing auditory processing” I could just understand about this by reading later description, but it seems ambiguous at this point. Please explain a bit more details and clearly. For example, about what low-level networks is and what higher-order brain is.


    ● This now reads:


    ○ While improvisation is undoubtedly a creative enterprise, it also incorporates sensory information. Creating music implicates a network of higher-order brain regions involved in decision-making and executive functioning. This network formulates a plan and sends instructions to regions involved in production. Where the plan is devised and generated by the brain itself, it can be considered a top-down process however, monitoring the output and affirming or altering the plan relies on bottom-up sensory information from low-level auditory processing networks. These bottom-up perceptual networks are a vital part of improvisation and in this review, we propose a conceptual model of musical improvisation that incorporates the neural correlates of music listening.


    — “network of brain areas shared between language and music (2000)” It looks a strange way of citation.


    ● This has been removed.


    — about the description of dlPFC and mPFC in improvisation and creativity. If the authors try to discuss about neuronal network instrumental in improvisation and creativity, I recommend to descrive three types of networks introduced by recent researches such as Beaty and colleagues (e.g., Beaty, R. E., Kenett, Y. N., Christensen, A. P., Rosenberg, M. D., Benedek, M., Chen, Q., … Silvia, P. J. (2018). Robust prediction of individual creative ability from brain functional connectivity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, (7), 201713532.): Default mode network, Executive control network, and Salience network.


    — For discussion on neuroscience in improvisation, the followings also seem important: Dhakal, K., Norgaard, M., Adhikari, B. M., Yun, K. S., & Dhamala, M. (2019). Higher Node Activity with Less Functional Connectivity during Musical Improvisation . Brain Connectivity. https://doi.org/10.1089/brain.2017.0566; de Manzano, Ö., & Ullén, F. (2012a). Activation and connectivity patterns of the presupplementary and dorsal premotor areas during free improvisation of melodies and rhythms. NeuroImage, 63(1), 272–280. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2012.06.024; Lopata, J. A., Nowicki, E. A., & Joanisse, M. F. (2017). Creativity as a distinct trainable mental state: An EEG study of musical improvisation. Neuropsychologia, 99(March), 246–258. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2017.03.020; Saggar, M., Quintin, E.-M., Bott, N. T., Kienitz, E., Chien, Y., Hong, D. W.-C., … Reiss, A. L. (2016). Changes in Brain Activation Associated with Spontaneous Improvization and Figural Creativity After Design-Thinking-Based Training: A Longitudinal fMRI Study. Cerebral Cortex, 27(7), 3542–3552. https://doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhw171.


    — “To begin this process, musical output must be segmented either manually (see Schenker & Salzer, 1933) or computationally (see Lartillot et al., 2008) to return a profile that could then be applied to the time series of the brain data. This profile can include information on structural musical elements (key, tonality, and meter changes, cadential passages and tonal resolutions, etc.) that can then be formed into larger semantic units (themes and variations, boundaries between sections, etc.) or roles” Recently, many neuronal and behavioural researchers performed these interdisciplinary approaches (neuronal/behavioural plus computational) in music (e.g., Przysinda, E., Zeng, T., Maves, K., Arkin, C., & Loui, P. (2017). Jazz musicians reveal role of expectancy in human creativity. Brain and Cognition, 119(December), 45–53. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bandc.2017.09.008) (Kim, S. G., Kim, J. S., & Chung, C. K. (2011). The effect of conditional probability of chord progression on brain response: An MEG study. PLoS ONE, 6(2). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0017337) (Daikoku, T. (2018). Entropy , Uncertainty , and the Depth of Implicit Knowledge on Musical Creativity : Computational Study of Improvisation in Melody and Rhythm, 12(December), 1–11. https://doi.org/10.3389/fncom.2018.00097) (Hansen, N. C., & Pearce, M. T. (2014). Predictive uncertainty in auditory sequence processing. Frontiers in Psychology, 5(SEP), 1–17. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01052) (Daikoku, T. (2018). Musical Creativity and Depth of Implicit Knowledge: Spectral and Temporal Individualities in Improvisation. Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience, 12(November), 1–27. https://doi.org/10.3389/fncom.2018.00089). Please discuss about these studies


    ● Thank you for the helpful suggestions – these articles have been added to the relevant sections.


    — The authors didn’t discuss about improvisation of “pitch” and “rhythm” although these are difference function, and important to know neuronal mechanism underlying improvisation.


    ● A paragraph on studies examining improvisation with targeted rhythmic/melodic instructions has been added to the section on spontaneous generation (tier 3).


    — Figure 1. According to previous studies. Limbic system (amygdala and hippocampus) should also be important area in improvisation


    ● We found ample sources for limbic system activity in listening to familiar music, but few references to the limbic system in improvisation studies. We have added the following for the limbic system:


    ○ The model primarily includes cortical brain regions. Though sub-cortical structures, particularly those in the limbic system, have been shown to activate during listening to familiar, pleasurable music (see Salimpoor, 2011), how these structures contribute to novel music in improvisation is unclear.


    ● And the hippocampus:


    ○ McPherson and colleagues (2016) described deactivation of the hippocampus in the left, right, and bilateral hippocampus related to emotionally-cued improvisation for positive, ambiguous, and negative emotions respectively; but whether these deactivations are part of a general improvisation network or specifically related to the emotional task is unclear.


    — Figure 1: Flow state. Using fMRI, Liu (S. Liu et al., 2015) examined brain mechanism during poetry composition and the assessing (revision) process. The results indicated that dlPFC activity was attenuated during composition and re-engaged during revision, whereas medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC), which is associated with multiple cognitive functions such as motivation (Kouneiher, Charron, & Koechlin, 2009) and unconscious decision-making (Soon, Brass, Heinze, & Haynes, 2008), was active during both phases. Furthermore, experts showed significantly stronger deactivation of dlPFC during generation without significant difference of activity in MPFC. Thus, experts may more effectively suspend top-down controls while keeping motivation. Together, “open-ended” creative behaviors may suppress top-down controls regarding dlPFC activities while keeping motivation regarding MPFC activities, whereas “fixed” behaviors enhance the top-down controls. Thus, relationship between activation of dlPFC and mPFC is involved in language as well as music.


    ● Thank you for the suggestion. Where language was removed from the review, we did not include these studies.


    — Figure 1 seems not exact “improvisation” model but general music and language perception and production.


    ● The figure has been updated


    — Figure 1. Please describe about abbreviation (e.g., PFC, IFG) in legend of the figure.


    ● This has been updated


    — Figure 1. Colour of line seems difficult to discriminate each other if readers print grey scale. I recommend to use colors that can easily be discriminated each other.


    ● Thank you for the suggestion. This has been updated.


    Reviewer: 2


    Comments to the Author


    Summary: This manuscript reviews the literature on musical improvisation and proposes a model that integrates creative processes with those related to action production and auditory perception. In general, the manuscript is an interesting synthesis of published literature and the author’s own ideas, but should be edited for clarity and precision. It would also help, after reviewing the literature relevant to each of their model levels, if they would provide a synopsis and talk about the integration of the levels into a complete model. As written, it seems disjointed.


    ● Thank you for your comments, particularly on the organization of the review. Your individual comments are addressed below in sequence:


    Specific Items:


    Introduction, 2nd sentence: The authors should rethink the phrase “innately learned” and the meaning of the sentence itself. First, if something is “innate” it is naturally occurring and not learned, so the phrase is an oxymoron. I believe the authors are trying to say that the rules of language are, initially at least, informally taught by exposure and correction. I would also note that the connection between language and music breaks down when trying to apply these rules, i.e., language production is much easier than music production for humans.


    ● Thank you for your comments these sections have been removed.


    Introduction, “Different geographic regions…”: It’s not clear what point the authors are making. As the clause after “but” seems unconnected to what came before. What medium is being referred to? The melodic patterns and expressions? The geographic regions?


    ● This has been removed.


    Introduction, “Yet music remains…: This sentence is a good example of “poetic” language that is easy to gloss over, but tends to result in confusion. “Yet” implies that the previous discussion was somehow implying that music would disappear – this was not the case. Also, the proposition being put forth here seems completely subjective.


    ● This has been removed.


    Introduction, “…cognitive processes as the engage large-scale networks…”. Do cognitive processes “engage” brain networks or are they the result of activity located in those networks?


    ● This has been removed.


    Figure 1/Model: This is a reasonable representation of the processes involved, but I wonder about the different level of detail in the shown in the model levels. For instance, the auditory-processing level include signal transmission to the cortex, while the two intermediate levels move from areas to networks, though they too involve signal transmission. Is this on purpose? It might help to either summarize the tack they are taking before they discuss each level in detail or modify the figure to show, the different processes in similar levels of detail.


    ● The model has been updated with this in mind.


    Page 4, “This can be thought of …”: I assume that the authors mean, “The collection of capabilities in this level …” ?


    ● This has been removed


    Page 4, “Though seemingly analogous…”: I suggest something more specific: “Though speech and music brain activity are seemingly lateralized, …” since the fact that they may share resources is the surprising fact given the lateralization mentioned above.


    ● This has been re-worded


    Page 4ff, discussion of ERP’s: It’s not clear what point the authors are making with this paragraph. There is a lot of detail on the occurrence of various ERP features, but what point the authors are making in regard to this level is unclear.


    ● This has been moved to a new section on temporal dynamics and clarified.


    Discussion of the different levels: While the information in this section is interesting and relevant, it seems as though the authors are treating these sections as “Results” sections, stating what the results are from the cited studies, but waiting until later to synthesize them into a coherent story. I suggest that the authors look at each paragraph and orient the reader to the point of bringing up the information contained in that paragraph. This will both make the section clearer, but also set up the reader to follow the later “Future” section.


    ● Thank you for the suggestion. The text has been revised and shortened for clarity. We found summary sections redundant given the new format.


    I assume that the “forest” section is a discussion of the highest model level? If so, it should be labeled as such. As named, it seems as though it should be (part of) the section in which the results are summarized and contextualized.


    ● This has been renamed


    Page 10: “…which much be factored…” should be “…which must be factored…”


    ● Thank you – this has been changed.


    Generally, the “model” that the authors present seems less like a model and more like a compilation of processes. Part of the issue is that there is no text that takes the information presented in support of each level, synthesizes it and makes a larger point. The authors also spend so much effort on the similarities and differences between music and speech that it’s not clear what the final model shows – are these processes more similar than we thought? Less? Related in a different way? I’d encourage the authors to think this through.


    ● Thank you for the suggestion. We decided to focus solely on music, and hope the additional discussion will make our points more clear.


    Reviewer: 3


    Comments to the Author


    This is a review article that attempts to propose a model of musical improvisation. The topic is timely but there are substantial weaknesses with the model and with the review.


    A conceptual model of improvisation should differentiate improvisatory from non-improvisatory musical processes. The model as laid out in Figure 1 does not explain the essential component of musical improvisation: the spontaneous generation of novel auditory-motor patterns. As it currently stands, the model here describes non-improvisatory music making just as well as it describes musical improvisation. For example, performing previously composed music in a musical ensemble would both use all the same processes of auditory processing, syntax and semantics, production, and social interaction, and involve all the same areas of the brain.


    I also disagree with attributing single cognitive functions to unique brain areas, as implied in Figure 1 and throughout the manuscript. For example, it is highly unlikely that BA 22 (R) is responsible for Emotion, as shown in Figure 1. It is also highly unlikely that the entire PFC is for Social Cognition.


    ● Thank you for your review. The manuscript has been extensively revised and your individual comments are addressed below in sequence:


    Another major weakness of the review overall is that it does not focus on musical improvisation; rather it rambles around different topics within music neuroscience including evolution, music and language (including syntax and semantics), and social interaction. The flow of ideas needs to be substantially tightened up before resubmission, and the review needs to be more focused on the wealth of information on musical improvisation in recent years, rather than dipping into many different areas within music neuroscience. For example, studies by de Manzano et al (2012), Kleinmintz et al (2014), Przysinda et al (2017), and Bianco et al (2017) should be included. Even among review articles on musical improvisation, see articles by Biasutti et al, Norgaard et al, Loui et al, Limb et al.


    ● Thank you for the recommended papers. They have been added under relevant sections and the review has been re-formatted and edited for clarity.


    The myth of left-hemisphere for language and right-hemisphere for music is an oversimplification and does not need to be rehashed here.


    ● Thank you for the suggestion. Language has been removed from the revised paper.


    The paragraph on music with clinical populations is also unnecessary.


    ● We respectfully disagree, particularly considering there may be clinical benefits to music improvisation. The case for this has been expanded slightly.


    I would recommend to cut out all references that do not directly investigate improvisation and focus on studies that address musical improvisation, as Beaty (2015) has done, and update the review with more recent articles since 2015.


    ● For us, this is part of the problem with improvisation reviews. Studies focused on improvisation tend to eliminate the lower-level auditory processing networks which provide valuable information to the study of improvisation.



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  • pre-publication peer review (ROUND 1)
    Decision Letter
    2019/03/25

    25-Mar-2019


    EJN-2019-01-26159


    Toward a standard model of musical improvisation


    Dear Ms. Faber,


    Your manuscript was reviewed by three expert external reviewers as well as by the Section Editor, Dr. Edmund Lalor, and ourselves. Based on these reviews, we regret to inform you that we are not able to accept your manuscript for publication in EJN in its present form. However, the research described in your manuscript is potentially of interest and therefore we invite you to resubmit a much revised version.


    While all three reviewers appreciate the value of the topic, all three have raised substantial concerns. Reviewers 1 and 2 both highlight places where the text could be improved and point to additional relevant citations. But the comments of reviewer 3, in particular, would need to be addressed in any resubmission. That reviewer points to the fact that the proposed model may not sufficiently differentiate improvisatory from non-improvisatory musical processes. The reviewer is also (quite properly) concerned with attributing cognitive functions to specific brain areas and to oversimplifying hemispheric specialization for speech and language. There are also suggestions from this reviewer regarding important literature that should be included. These suggestions warrant substantial revision, before we could re-reconsider your manuscript.


    Please also attend to the following issues identified by our editorial office in any resubmission:




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    Reviews:


    Reviewer: 1


    Comments to the Author


    In this study, the authors reviewed previous neuronal studies (ERP and fMRI) on music and speech perception and production. They also presented a conceptual model of musical improvisation with known neural correlates. The paper is well-written, and the supported by a body of previous studies. I feel the difference of dlPFC and mPFC function seem good topic to understand creativity and intelligence, neuroscientifically. There are, however some points that should be re-considered in the way of writing. There are important references that should be cited. The specific comment is as follows.


    — “While improvisation is undoubtedly a creative enterprise implicating a network of higher-order brain regions, it also relies on the integration of low-level networks governing auditory processing” I could just understand about this by reading later description, but it seems ambiguous at this point. Please explain a bit more details and clearly. For example, about what low-level networks is and what higher-order brain is.


    — “network of brain areas shared between language and music (2000)” It looks a strange way of citation.


    — about the description of dlPFC and mPFC in improvisation and creativity. If the authors try to discuss about neuronal network instrumental in improvisation and creativity, I recommend to descrive three types of networks introduced by recent researches such as Beaty and colleagues (e.g., Beaty, R. E., Kenett, Y. N., Christensen, A. P., Rosenberg, M. D., Benedek, M., Chen, Q., … Silvia, P. J. (2018). Robust prediction of individual creative ability from brain functional connectivity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, (7), 201713532.): Default mode network, Executive control network, and Salience network.


    — For discussion on neuroscience in improvisation, the followings also seem important: Dhakal, K., Norgaard, M., Adhikari, B. M., Yun, K. S., & Dhamala, M. (2019). Higher Node Activity with Less Functional Connectivity during Musical Improvisation . Brain Connectivity. https://doi.org/10.1089/brain.2017.0566; de Manzano, Ö., & Ullén, F. (2012a). Activation and connectivity patterns of the presupplementary and dorsal premotor areas during free improvisation of melodies and rhythms. NeuroImage, 63(1), 272–280. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2012.06.024; Lopata, J. A., Nowicki, E. A., & Joanisse, M. F. (2017). Creativity as a distinct trainable mental state: An EEG study of musical improvisation. Neuropsychologia, 99(March), 246–258. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2017.03.020; Saggar, M., Quintin, E.-M., Bott, N. T., Kienitz, E., Chien, Y., Hong, D. W.-C., … Reiss, A. L. (2016). Changes in Brain Activation Associated with Spontaneous Improvization and Figural Creativity After Design-Thinking-Based Training: A Longitudinal fMRI Study. Cerebral Cortex, 27(7), 3542–3552. https://doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhw171.


    — “To begin this process, musical output must be segmented either manually (see Schenker & Salzer, 1933) or computationally (see Lartillot et al., 2008) to return a profile that could then be applied to the time series of the brain data. This profile can include information on structural musical elements (key, tonality, and meter changes, cadential passages and tonal resolutions, etc.) that can then be formed into larger semantic units (themes and variations, boundaries between sections, etc.) or roles” Recently, many neuronal and behavioural researchers performed these interdisciplinary approaches (neuronal/behavioural plus computational) in music (e.g., Przysinda, E., Zeng, T., Maves, K., Arkin, C., & Loui, P. (2017). Jazz musicians reveal role of expectancy in human creativity. Brain and Cognition, 119(December), 45–53. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bandc.2017.09.008) (Kim, S. G., Kim, J. S., & Chung, C. K. (2011). The effect of conditional probability of chord progression on brain response: An MEG study. PLoS ONE, 6(2). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0017337) (Daikoku, T. (2018). Entropy , Uncertainty , and the Depth of Implicit Knowledge on Musical Creativity : Computational Study of Improvisation in Melody and Rhythm, 12(December), 1–11. https://doi.org/10.3389/fncom.2018.00097) (Hansen, N. C., & Pearce, M. T. (2014). Predictive uncertainty in auditory sequence processing. Frontiers in Psychology, 5(SEP), 1–17. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01052) (Daikoku, T. (2018). Musical Creativity and Depth of Implicit Knowledge: Spectral and Temporal Individualities in Improvisation. Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience, 12(November), 1–27. https://doi.org/10.3389/fncom.2018.00089). Please discuss about these studies.


    — The authors didn’t discuss about improvisation of “pitch” and “rhythm” although these are difference function, and important to know neuronal mechanism underlying improvisation.


    — Figure 1. According to previous studies. Limbic system (amygdala and hippocampus) should also be important area in improvisation.


    — Figure 1: Flow state. Using fMRI, Liu (S. Liu et al., 2015) examined brain mechanism during poetry composition and the assessing (revision) process. The results indicated that dlPFC activity was attenuated during composition and re-engaged during revision, whereas medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC), which is associated with multiple cognitive functions such as motivation (Kouneiher, Charron, & Koechlin, 2009) and unconscious decision-making (Soon, Brass, Heinze, & Haynes, 2008), was active during both phases. Furthermore, experts showed significantly stronger deactivation of dlPFC during generation without significant difference of activity in MPFC. Thus, experts may more effectively suspend top-down controls while keeping motivation. Together, “open-ended” creative behaviors may suppress top-down controls regarding dlPFC activities while keeping motivation regarding MPFC activities, whereas “fixed” behaviors enhance the top-down controls. Thus, relationship between activation of dlPFC and mPFC is involved in language as well as music.


    — Figure 1 seems not exact “improvisation” model but general music and language perception and production.


    — Figure 1. Please describe about abbreviation (e.g., PFC, IFG) in legend of the figure.


    — Figure 1. Colour of line seems difficult to discriminate each other if readers print grey scale. I recommend to use colors that can easily be discriminated each other.


    Reviewer: 2


    Comments to the Author


    Summary: This manuscript reviews the literature on musical improvisation and proposes a model that integrates creative processes with those related to action production and auditory perception. In general, the manuscript is an interesting synthesis of published literature and the author’s own ideas, but should be edited for clarity and precision. It would also help, after reviewing the literature relevant to each of their model levels, if they would provide a synopsis and talk about the integration of the levels into a complete model. As written, it seems disjointed.


    Specific Items:


    Introduction, 2nd sentence: The authors should rethink the phrase “innately learned” and the meaning of the sentence itself. First, if something is “innate” it is naturally occurring and not learned, so the phrase is an oxymoron. I believe the authors are trying to say that the rules of language are, initially at least, informally taught by exposure and correction. I would also note that the connection between language and music breaks down when trying to apply these rules, i.e., language production is much easier than music production for humans.


    Introduction, “Different geographic regions…”: It’s not clear what point the authors are making. As the clause after “but” seems unconnected to what came before. What medium is being referred to? The melodic patterns and expressions? The geographic regions?


    Introduction, “Yet music remains…: This sentence is a good example of “poetic” language that is easy to gloss over, but tends to result in confusion. “Yet” implies that the previous discussion was somehow implying that music would disappear – this was not the case. Also, the proposition being put forth here seems completely subjective.


    Introduction, “…cognitive processes as the engage large-scale networks…”. Do cognitive processes “engage” brain networks or are they the result of activity located in those networks?


    Figure 1/Model: This is a reasonable representation of the processes involved, but I wonder about the different level of detail in the shown in the model levels. For instance, the auditory-processing level include signal transmission to the cortex, while the two intermediate levels move from areas to networks, though they too involve signal transmission. Is this on purpose? It might help to either summarize the tack they are taking before they discuss each level in detail or modify the figure to show, the different processes in similar levels of detail.


    Page 4, “This can be thought of …”: I assume that the authors mean, “The collection of capabilities in this level …” ?


    Page 4, “Though seemingly analogous…”: I suggest something more specific: “Though speech and music brain activity are seemingly lateralized, …” since the fact that they may share resources is the surprising fact given the lateralization mentioned above.


    Page 4ff, discussion of ERP’s: It’s not clear what point the authors are making with this paragraph. There is a lot of detail on the occurrence of various ERP features, but what point the authors are making in regard to this level is unclear.


    Discussion of the different levels: While the information in this section is interesting and relevant, it seems as though the authors are treating these sections as “Results” sections, stating what the results are from the cited studies, but waiting until later to synthesize them into a coherent story. I suggest that the authors look at each paragraph and orient the reader to the point of bringing up the information contained in that paragraph. This will both make the section clearer, but also set up the reader to follow the later “Future” section.


    I assume that the “forest” section is a discussion of the highest model level? If so, it should be labeled as such. As named, it seems as though it should be (part of) the section in which the results are summarized and contextualized.


    Page 10: “…which much be factored…” should be “…which must be factored…”


    Generally, the “model” that the authors present seems less like a model and more like a compilation of processes. Part of the issue is that there is no text that takes the information presented in support of each level, synthesizes it and makes a larger point. The authors also spend so much effort on the similarities and differences between music and speech that it’s not clear what the final model shows – are these processes more similar than we thought? Less? Related in a different way? I’d encourage the authors to think this through.


    Reviewer: 3


    Comments to the Author


    This is a review article that attempts to propose a model of musical improvisation. The topic is timely but there are substantial weaknesses with the model and with the review.


    A conceptual model of improvisation should differentiate improvisatory from non-improvisatory musical processes. The model as laid out in Figure 1 does not explain the essential component of musical improvisation: the spontaneous generation of novel auditory-motor patterns. As it currently stands, the model here describes non-improvisatory music making just as well as it describes musical improvisation. For example, performing previously composed music in a musical ensemble would both use all the same processes of auditory processing, syntax and semantics, production, and social interaction, and involve all the same areas of the brain.


    I also disagree with attributing single cognitive functions to unique brain areas, as implied in Figure 1 and throughout the manuscript. For example, it is highly unlikely that BA 22 (R) is responsible for Emotion, as shown in Figure 1. It is also highly unlikely that the entire PFC is for Social Cognition.


    Another major weakness of the review overall is that it does not focus on musical improvisation; rather it rambles around different topics within music neuroscience including evolution, music and language (including syntax and semantics), and social interaction. The flow of ideas needs to be substantially tightened up before resubmission, and the review needs to be more focused on the wealth of information on musical improvisation in recent years, rather than dipping into many different areas within music neuroscience. For example, studies by de Manzano et al (2012), Kleinmintz et al (2014), Przysinda et al (2017), and Bianco et al (2017) should be included. Even among review articles on musical improvisation, see articles by Biasutti et al, Norgaard et al, Loui et al, Limb et al.


    The myth of left-hemisphere for language and right-hemisphere for music is an oversimplification and does not need to be rehashed here.


    The paragraph on music with clinical populations is also unnecessary.


    I would recommend to cut out all references that do not directly investigate improvisation and focus on studies that address musical improvisation, as Beaty (2015) has done, and update the review with more recent articles since 2015.




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    Reviewer report
    2019/03/10

    This is a review article that attempts to propose a model of musical improvisation. The topic is timely but there are substantial weaknesses with the model and with the review.
    A conceptual model of improvisation should differentiate improvisatory from non-improvisatory musical processes. The model as laid out in Figure 1 does not explain the essential component of musical improvisation: the spontaneous generation of novel auditory-motor patterns. As it currently stands, the model here describes non-improvisatory music making just as well as it describes musical improvisation. For example, performing previously composed music in a musical ensemble would both use all the same processes of auditory processing, syntax and semantics, production, and social interaction, and involve all the same areas of the brain.
    I also disagree with attributing single cognitive functions to unique brain areas, as implied in Figure 1 and throughout the manuscript. For example, it is highly unlikely that BA 22 (R) is responsible for Emotion, as shown in Figure 1. It is also highly unlikely that the entire PFC is for Social Cognition.
    Another major weakness of the review overall is that it does not focus on musical improvisation; rather it rambles around different topics within music neuroscience including evolution, music and language (including syntax and semantics), and social interaction. The flow of ideas needs to be substantially tightened up before resubmission, and the review needs to be more focused on the wealth of information on musical improvisation in recent years, rather than dipping into many different areas within music neuroscience. For example, studies by de Manzano et al (2012), Kleinmintz et al (2014), Przysinda et al (2017), and Bianco et al (2017) should be included. Even among review articles on musical improvisation, see articles by Biasutti et al, Norgaard et al, Loui et al, Limb et al.
    The myth of left-hemisphere for language and right-hemisphere for music is an oversimplification and does not need to be rehashed here.
    The paragraph on music with clinical populations is also unnecessary.
    I would recommend to cut out all references that do not directly investigate improvisation and focus on studies that address musical improvisation, as Beaty (2015) has done, and update the review with more recent articles since 2015.

    Reviewed by
    Cite this review
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    Reviewer report
    2019/03/07

    In this study, the authors reviewed previous neuronal studies (ERP and fMRI) on music and speech perception and production. They also presented a conceptual model of musical improvisation with known neural correlates. The paper is well-written, and the supported by a body of previous studies. I feel the difference of dlPFC and mPFC function seem good topic to understand creativity and intelligence, neuroscientifically. There are, however some points that should be re-considered in the way of writing. There are important references that should be cited. The specific comment is as follows.

    — “While improvisation is undoubtedly a creative enterprise implicating a network of higher-order brain regions, it also relies on the integration of low-level networks governing auditory processing” I could just understand about this by reading later description, but it seems ambiguous at this point. Please explain a bit more details and clearly. For example, about what low-level networks is and what higher-order brain is.

    — “network of brain areas shared between language and music (2000)” It looks a strange way of citation.

    — about the description of dlPFC and mPFC in improvisation and creativity. If the authors try to discuss about neuronal network instrumental in improvisation and creativity, I recommend to descrive three types of networks introduced by recent researches such as Beaty and colleagues (e.g., Beaty, R. E., Kenett, Y. N., Christensen, A. P., Rosenberg, M. D., Benedek, M., Chen, Q., … Silvia, P. J. (2018). Robust prediction of individual creative ability from brain functional connectivity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, (7), 201713532.): Default mode network, Executive control network, and Salience network.

    — For discussion on neuroscience in improvisation, the followings also seem important: Dhakal, K., Norgaard, M., Adhikari, B. M., Yun, K. S., & Dhamala, M. (2019). Higher Node Activity with Less Functional Connectivity during Musical Improvisation . Brain Connectivity. https://doi.org/10.1089/brain.2017.0566; de Manzano, Ö., & Ullén, F. (2012a). Activation and connectivity patterns of the presupplementary and dorsal premotor areas during free improvisation of melodies and rhythms. NeuroImage, 63(1), 272–280. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2012.06.024; Lopata, J. A., Nowicki, E. A., & Joanisse, M. F. (2017). Creativity as a distinct trainable mental state: An EEG study of musical improvisation. Neuropsychologia, 99(March), 246–258. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2017.03.020; Saggar, M., Quintin, E.-M., Bott, N. T., Kienitz, E., Chien, Y., Hong, D. W.-C., … Reiss, A. L. (2016). Changes in Brain Activation Associated with Spontaneous Improvization and Figural Creativity After Design-Thinking-Based Training: A Longitudinal fMRI Study. Cerebral Cortex, 27(7), 3542–3552. https://doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhw171.

    — “To begin this process, musical output must be segmented either manually (see Schenker & Salzer, 1933) or computationally (see Lartillot et al., 2008) to return a profile that could then be applied to the time series of the brain data. This profile can include information on structural musical elements (key, tonality, and meter changes, cadential passages and tonal resolutions, etc.) that can then be formed into larger semantic units (themes and variations, boundaries between sections, etc.) or roles” Recently, many neuronal and behavioural researchers performed these interdisciplinary approaches (neuronal/behavioural plus computational) in music (e.g., Przysinda, E., Zeng, T., Maves, K., Arkin, C., & Loui, P. (2017). Jazz musicians reveal role of expectancy in human creativity. Brain and Cognition, 119(December), 45–53. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bandc.2017.09.008) (Kim, S. G., Kim, J. S., & Chung, C. K. (2011). The effect of conditional probability of chord progression on brain response: An MEG study. PLoS ONE, 6(2). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0017337) (Daikoku, T. (2018). Entropy , Uncertainty , and the Depth of Implicit Knowledge on Musical Creativity : Computational Study of Improvisation in Melody and Rhythm, 12(December), 1–11. https://doi.org/10.3389/fncom.2018.00097) (Hansen, N. C., & Pearce, M. T. (2014). Predictive uncertainty in auditory sequence processing. Frontiers in Psychology, 5(SEP), 1–17. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01052) (Daikoku, T. (2018). Musical Creativity and Depth of Implicit Knowledge: Spectral and Temporal Individualities in Improvisation. Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience, 12(November), 1–27. https://doi.org/10.3389/fncom.2018.00089). Please discuss about these studies.

    — The authors didn’t discuss about improvisation of “pitch” and “rhythm” although these are difference function, and important to know neuronal mechanism underlying improvisation.

    — Figure 1. According to previous studies. Limbic system (amygdala and hippocampus) should also be important area in improvisation.

    — Figure 1: Flow state. Using fMRI, Liu (S. Liu et al., 2015) examined brain mechanism during poetry composition and the assessing (revision) process. The results indicated that dlPFC activity was attenuated during composition and re-engaged during revision, whereas medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC), which is associated with multiple cognitive functions such as motivation (Kouneiher, Charron, & Koechlin, 2009) and unconscious decision-making (Soon, Brass, Heinze, & Haynes, 2008), was active during both phases. Furthermore, experts showed significantly stronger deactivation of dlPFC during generation without significant difference of activity in MPFC. Thus, experts may more effectively suspend top-down controls while keeping motivation. Together, “open-ended” creative behaviors may suppress top-down controls regarding dlPFC activities while keeping motivation regarding MPFC activities, whereas “fixed” behaviors enhance the top-down controls. Thus, relationship between activation of dlPFC and mPFC is involved in language as well as music.

    — Figure 1 seems not exact “improvisation” model but general music and language perception and production.

    — Figure 1. Please describe about abbreviation (e.g., PFC, IFG) in legend of the figure.

    — Figure 1. Colour of line seems difficult to discriminate each other if readers print grey scale. I recommend to use colors that can easily be discriminated each other.

    Reviewed by
    Cite this review
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    Reviewer report
    2019/03/07

    Summary: This manuscript reviews the literature on musical improvisation and proposes a model that integrates creative processes with those related to action production and auditory perception. In general, the manuscript is an interesting synthesis of published literature and the author’s own ideas, but should be edited for clarity and precision. It would also help, after reviewing the literature relevant to each of their model levels, if they would provide a synopsis and talk about the integration of the levels into a complete model. As written, it seems disjointed.

    Specific Items:

    Introduction, 2nd sentence: The authors should rethink the phrase “innately learned” and the meaning of the sentence itself. First, if something is “innate” it is naturally occurring and not learned, so the phrase is an oxymoron. I believe the authors are trying to say that the rules of language are, initially at least, informally taught by exposure and correction. I would also note that the connection between language and music breaks down when trying to apply these rules, i.e., language production is much easier than music production for humans.

    Introduction, “Different geographic regions…”: It’s not clear what point the authors are making. As the clause after “but” seems unconnected to what came before. What medium is being referred to? The melodic patterns and expressions? The geographic regions?

    Introduction, “Yet music remains…: This sentence is a good example of “poetic” language that is easy to gloss over, but tends to result in confusion. “Yet” implies that the previous discussion was somehow implying that music would disappear – this was not the case. Also, the proposition being put forth here seems completely subjective.

    Introduction, “…cognitive processes as the engage large-scale networks…”. Do cognitive processes “engage” brain networks or are they the result of activity located in those networks?

    Figure 1/Model: This is a reasonable representation of the processes involved, but I wonder about the different level of detail in the shown in the model levels. For instance, the auditory-processing level include signal transmission to the cortex, while the two intermediate levels move from areas to networks, though they too involve signal transmission. Is this on purpose? It might help to either summarize the tack they are taking before they discuss each level in detail or modify the figure to show, the different processes in similar levels of detail.

    Page 4, “This can be thought of …”: I assume that the authors mean, “The collection of capabilities in this level …” ?

    Page 4, “Though seemingly analogous…”: I suggest something more specific: “Though speech and music brain activity are seemingly lateralized, …” since the fact that they may share resources is the surprising fact given the lateralization mentioned above.

    Page 4ff, discussion of ERP’s: It’s not clear what point the authors are making with this paragraph. There is a lot of detail on the occurrence of various ERP features, but what point the authors are making in regard to this level is unclear.

    Discussion of the different levels: While the information in this section is interesting and relevant, it seems as though the authors are treating these sections as “Results” sections, stating what the results are from the cited studies, but waiting until later to synthesize them into a coherent story. I suggest that the authors look at each paragraph and orient the reader to the point of bringing up the information contained in that paragraph. This will both make the section clearer, but also set up the reader to follow the later “Future” section.

    I assume that the “forest” section is a discussion of the highest model level? If so, it should be labeled as such. As named, it seems as though it should be (part of) the section in which the results are summarized and contextualized.

    Page 10: “…which much be factored…” should be “…which must be factored…”

    Generally, the “model” that the authors present seems less like a model and more like a compilation of processes. Part of the issue is that there is no text that takes the information presented in support of each level, synthesizes it and makes a larger point. The authors also spend so much effort on the similarities and differences between music and speech that it’s not clear what the final model shows – are these processes more similar than we thought? Less? Related in a different way? I’d encourage the authors to think this through.

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