Increased auditory cortical representation in musicians
ABSTRACT Acoustic stimuli are processed throughout the auditory projection pathway, including the neocortex, by neurons that are aggregated into 'tonotopic' maps according to their specific frequency tunings. Research on animals has shown that tonotopic representations are not statically fixed in the adult organism but can reorganize after damage to the cochlea or after training the intact subject to discriminate between auditory stimuli. Here we used functional magnetic source imaging (single dipole model) to measure cortical representations in highly skilled musicians. Dipole moments for piano tones, but not for pure tones of similar fundamental frequency (matched in loudness), were found to be enlarged by about 25% in musicians compared with control subjects who had never played an instrument. Enlargement was correlated with the age at which musicians began to practise and did not differ between musicians with absolute or relative pitch. These results, when interpreted with evidence for modified somatosensory representations of the fingering digits in skilled violinists, suggest that use-dependent functional reorganization extends across the sensory cortices to reflect the pattern of sensory input processed by the subject during development of musical skill.
- SourceAvailable from: Tao Liu
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- "matter volume and density in auditory cortices of musicians  . On the basis of the structural findings, changes in the auditory ERPs in musicians may indicate expanded activation areas, increased number of neurons, greater synchronization, or faster connectivity. "
ABSTRACT: This paper reviews music research using Mismatch Negativity (MMN). MMN is a deviation-specific component of auditory event-related potential (EPR), which detects a deviation between a sound and an internal representation (e.g., memory trace). Recent studies have expanded the notion and the paradigms of MMN to higher-order music processing such as those involving short melodies, harmony chord, and music syntax. In this vein, we firstly reviewed the evolution of MMN from sound to music, and then mainly compared the differences of MMN features between musicians and non-musicians, followed by the discussion of the potential roles of the training effect and the natural exposure in MMN. Since MMN can serve as an index of neural plasticity, it thus can be widely used in clinical and other applied areas, such as detecting music preference in inborn or assessing wholeness of central auditory system of hearing illness. Finally, we pointed out some open-questions and further directions. Current music perception research using MMN has mainly focused on relatively low hierarchical structure of music perception. To fully understand the neural substrates underlying processing of regularities in music, it is important and beneficial to combine MMN with other experimental paradigms such as early right-anterior negativity (ERAN).Behavioural neurology 07/2015; · 1.64 Impact Factor
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- "In typically developing individuals, effectiveness of treatment diminishes after the age of 7 years, although there are substantial individual differences in response to treatment after that period (Scheiman et al., 2008). Similarly, musical training leads to an expanded auditory cortical representation, but only before 9 years of age (Pantev et al., 1998). If sensitive periods are disrupted in individuals with autism, we would predict that treatment efficacy for amblyopia may have a significantly different time course. "
ABSTRACT: Resilience and adaptation in the face of early genetic or environmental risk has become a major interest in child psychiatry over recent years. However, we still remain far from an understanding of how developing human brains as a whole adapt to the diffuse and widespread atypical synaptic function that may be characteristic of some common developmental disorders. The first part of this paper discusses four types of whole-brain adaptation in the face of early risk: redundancy, reorganization, niche construction, and adjustment of developmental rate. The second part of the paper applies these adaptation processes specifically to autism. We speculate that key features of autism may be the end result of processes of early brain adaptation, rather than the direct consequences of ongoing neural pathology.Development and Psychopathology 05/2015; 27(02):425-442. DOI:10.1017/S0954579415000073 · 4.89 Impact Factor
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- "This result is not surprising as the effects of musical experience appear in a usedependent manner (Lütkenh€ oner et al., 2006; Pantev et al., 2001, 1998). For example, Pantev et al. (1998) found an increase in the N1 response to piano tones in musicians that did not occur for pure tones. While piano tones are often encountered in musical training, pure tones are rarely experienced. "
ABSTRACT: Perceptual grouping is the process of organizing sounds into perceptually meaningful elements. Psychological studies have found that tones presented as a regular frequency or temporal pattern are grouped according to gestalt principles, such as similarity, proximity, and good continuity. Predictive coding theory suggests that this process helps create an internal model for the prediction of sounds in a tone sequence and that an omission-related brain response reflects the violation of this prediction. However, it remains unclear which brain areas are related to this process, especially in paying attention to the stimuli. To clarify this uncertainty, the present study investigated the neural correlates of perceptual grouping effects. Using magnetoencephalography (MEG), we recorded the evoked response fields (ERFs) of amateur musicians and nonmusicians to sound omissions in tone sequences with a regular or random pattern of three different frequencies during an omission detection task. Omissions in the regular sequences were detected faster and evoked greater activity in the left Heschl's gyrus (HG), right postcentral gyrus, and bilateral superior temporal gyrus (STG) than did omissions in the irregular sequences. Additionally, an interaction between musical experience and regularity was found in the left HG/STG. Tone-evoked responses did not show this difference, indicating that the expertise effect did not reflect the superior tone processing acquired by amateur musicians due to musical training. These results suggest that perceptual grouping based on repetition of a pattern of frequencies affects the processing of omissions in tone sequences and induces more activation of the bilateral auditory cortex by violating internal models. The interaction in the left HG/STG may suggest different styles of processing for musicians and nonmusicians, although this difference was not reflected at the behavioral level.Hearing Research 11/2014; 319. DOI:10.1016/j.heares.2014.10.013 · 2.85 Impact Factor