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The influence of pre-stimulus EEG activity on reaction time during a verbal sternberg task is related to musical expertise


Klein, Carina; Diaz Hernandez, Laura; Koenig, Thomas; Kottlow, Mara; Elmer, Stefan; Jäncke, Lutz (2016). The influence of pre-stimulus EEG activity on reaction time during a verbal sternberg task is related to musical expertise. Brain Topography, 29(1):67-81.

Abstract

Previous work highlighted the possibility that musical training has an influence on cognitive functioning. The suggested reason for this influence is the strong recruitment of attention, planning, and working memory functions during playing a musical instrument. The purpose of the present work was twofold, namely to evaluate the general relationship between pre-stimulus electrophysiological activity and cognition, and more specifically the influence of musical expertise on working memory functions. With this purpose in mind, we used covariance mapping analyses to evaluate whether pre-stimulus electroencephalographic activity is predictive for reaction time during a visual working memory task (Sternberg paradigm) in musicians and non-musicians. In line with our hypothesis, we replicated previous findings pointing to a general predictive value of pre-stimulus activity for working memory performance. Most importantly, we also provide first evidence for an influence of musical expertise on working memory performance that could distinctively be predicted by pre-stimulus spectral power. Our results open novel perspectives for better comprehending the vast influences of musical expertise on cognition.

Abstract

Previous work highlighted the possibility that musical training has an influence on cognitive functioning. The suggested reason for this influence is the strong recruitment of attention, planning, and working memory functions during playing a musical instrument. The purpose of the present work was twofold, namely to evaluate the general relationship between pre-stimulus electrophysiological activity and cognition, and more specifically the influence of musical expertise on working memory functions. With this purpose in mind, we used covariance mapping analyses to evaluate whether pre-stimulus electroencephalographic activity is predictive for reaction time during a visual working memory task (Sternberg paradigm) in musicians and non-musicians. In line with our hypothesis, we replicated previous findings pointing to a general predictive value of pre-stimulus activity for working memory performance. Most importantly, we also provide first evidence for an influence of musical expertise on working memory performance that could distinctively be predicted by pre-stimulus spectral power. Our results open novel perspectives for better comprehending the vast influences of musical expertise on cognition.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology
07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology

04 Faculty of Medicine > Center for Integrative Human Physiology
06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
08 University Research Priority Programs > Dynamics of Healthy Aging
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Date:2016
Deposited On:18 May 2015 14:19
Last Modified:02 Feb 2018 09:35
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0896-0267
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s10548-015-0433-7
PubMed ID:25929715

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