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Auditory evoked responses in musicians during passive vowel listening are modulated by functional connectivity between bilateral auditory-related brain regions


Kühnis, Jürg; Elmer, Stefan; Jäncke, Lutz (2014). Auditory evoked responses in musicians during passive vowel listening are modulated by functional connectivity between bilateral auditory-related brain regions. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 26(12):2750-2761.

Abstract

Currently, there is striking evidence showing that professional musical training can substantially alter the response properties of auditory-related cortical fields. Such plastic changes have previously been shown not only to abet the processing of musical sounds, but likewise spectral and temporal aspects of speech. Therefore, here we used the EEG technique and measured a sample of musicians and nonmusicians while the participants were passively exposed to artificial vowels in the context of an oddball paradigm. Thereby, we evaluated whether increased intracerebral functional connectivity between bilateral auditory-related brain regions may promote sensory specialization in musicians, as reflected by altered cortical N1 and P2 responses. This assumption builds on the reasoning that sensory specialization is dependent, at least in part, on the amount of synchronization between the two auditory-related cortices. Results clearly revealed that auditory-evoked N1 responses were shaped by musical expertise. In addition, in line with our reasoning musicians showed an overall increased intracerebral functional connectivity (as indexed by lagged phase synchronization) in theta, alpha, and beta bands. Finally, within-group correlative analyses indicated a relationship between intracerebral beta band connectivity and cortical N1 responses, however only within the musicians' group. Taken together, we provide first electrophysiological evidence for a relationship between musical expertise, auditory-evoked brain responses, and intracerebral functional connectivity among auditory-related brain regions.

Abstract

Currently, there is striking evidence showing that professional musical training can substantially alter the response properties of auditory-related cortical fields. Such plastic changes have previously been shown not only to abet the processing of musical sounds, but likewise spectral and temporal aspects of speech. Therefore, here we used the EEG technique and measured a sample of musicians and nonmusicians while the participants were passively exposed to artificial vowels in the context of an oddball paradigm. Thereby, we evaluated whether increased intracerebral functional connectivity between bilateral auditory-related brain regions may promote sensory specialization in musicians, as reflected by altered cortical N1 and P2 responses. This assumption builds on the reasoning that sensory specialization is dependent, at least in part, on the amount of synchronization between the two auditory-related cortices. Results clearly revealed that auditory-evoked N1 responses were shaped by musical expertise. In addition, in line with our reasoning musicians showed an overall increased intracerebral functional connectivity (as indexed by lagged phase synchronization) in theta, alpha, and beta bands. Finally, within-group correlative analyses indicated a relationship between intracerebral beta band connectivity and cortical N1 responses, however only within the musicians' group. Taken together, we provide first electrophysiological evidence for a relationship between musical expertise, auditory-evoked brain responses, and intracerebral functional connectivity among auditory-related brain regions.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:2014
Deposited On:26 Nov 2014 11:48
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 18:32
Publisher:MIT Press
ISSN:0898-929X
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1162/jocn_a_00674
PubMed ID:24893742

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