Musical groove modulates motor cortex excitability: A TMS investigation.
ABSTRACT Groove is often described as a musical quality that can induce movement in a listener. This study examines the effects of listening to groove music on corticospinal excitability. Musicians and non-musicians listened to high-groove music, low-groove music, and spectrally matched noise, while receiving single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) over the primary motor cortex either on-beat or off-beat. We examined changes in the amplitude of the motor-evoked potentials (MEPs), recorded from hand and arm muscles, as an index of activity within the motor system. Musicians and non-musicians rated groove similarly. MEP results showed that high-groove music modulated corticospinal excitability, whereas no difference occurred between low-groove music and noise. More specifically, musicians' MEPs were larger with high-groove than low-groove music, and this effect was especially pronounced for on-beat compared to off-beat pulses. These results indicate that high-groove music increasingly engages the motor system, and the temporal modulation of corticospinal excitability with the beat could stem from tight auditory-motor links in musicians. Conversely, non-musicians' MEPs were smaller for high-groove than low-groove music, and there was no effect of on- versus off-beat pulses, potentially stemming from suppression of overt movement. In sum, high-groove music engages the motor system, and previous training modulates how listening to music with a strong groove activates the motor system.
Full-textDOI: · Available from: Giacomo Novembre, Jun 17, 2015
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ABSTRACT: Timing abnormalities have been reported in many neurological disorders, including Parkinson's disease (PD). In PD, motor-timing impairments are especially debilitating in gait. Despite impaired audiomotor synchronization, PD patients' gait improves when they walk with an auditory metronome or with music. Building on that research, we make recommendations for optimizing sensory cues to improve the efficacy of rhythmic cuing in gait rehabilitation. Adaptive rhythmic metronomes (that synchronize with the patient's walking) might be especially effective. In a recent study we showed that adaptive metronomes synchronized consistently with PD patients' footsteps without requiring attention; this improved stability and reinstated healthy gait dynamics. Other strategies could help optimize sensory cues for gait rehabilitation. Groove music strongly engages the motor system and induces movement; bass-frequency tones are associated with movement and provide strong timing cues. Thus, groove and bass-frequency pulses could deliver potent rhythmic cues. These strategies capitalize on the close neural connections between auditory and motor networks; and auditory cues are typically preferred. However, moving visual cues greatly improve visuomotor synchronization and could warrant examination in gait rehabilitation. Together, a treatment approach that employs groove, auditory, bass-frequency, and adaptive (GABA) cues could help optimize rhythmic sensory cues for treating motor and timing deficits. © 2014 New York Academy of Sciences.Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 03/2015; 1337(1). DOI:10.1111/nyas.12615 · 4.31 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Pitch deafness, the most commonly known form of congenital amusia, refers to a severe deficit in musical pitch processing (i.e., melody discrimination and recognition) that can leave time processing-including rhythm, metre, and "feeling the beat"-preserved. In Experiment 1, we show that by presenting musical excerpts in nonpitched drum timbres, rather than pitched piano tones, amusics show normal metre recognition. Experiment 2 reveals that body movement influences amusics' interpretation of the beat of an ambiguous drum rhythm. Experiment 3 and a subsequent exploratory study show an ability to synchronize movement to the beat of popular dance music and potential for improvement when given a modest amount of practice. Together the present results are consistent with the idea that rhythm and beat processing are spared in pitch deafness-that is, being pitch-deaf does not mean one is beat-deaf. In the context of drum music especially, amusics can be musical.Cognitive Neuropsychology 07/2013; 30(5):311-331. DOI:10.1080/02643294.2013.863183 · 1.96 Impact Factor
Article: Auditory Grammar[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Auditory streams are considered basic units of auditory percepts, and an auditory stream is a concatenation of auditory events and silences. In our recent book, we proposed a theoretical framework in which auditory units equal to or smaller than auditory events, i.e., auditory subevents, are integrated linearly to form auditory streams. A simple grammar, Auditory Grammar, was introduced to avoid nonsense chains of subevents, e.g., a silence succeeded immediately by an offset (a termination); a silence represents a state without a sound, and to put an offset, i.e., the end of a sound, immediately after that should be prohibited as ungrammatical. By assuming a few gestalt principles including the proximity principle and this grammar, we are able to interpret or reinterpret some auditory phenomena from a unified viewpoint, such as the gap transfer illusion, the split-off phenomenon, the auditory continuity effect, and perceptual extraction of a melody in a very reverberant room.Acoustics Australia / Australian Acoustical Society 08/2014; 42:97-101. · 0.36 Impact Factor