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Musical expertise affects neural bases of letter recognition


Proverbio, Alice Mado; Manfredi, Mirella; Zani, Alberto; Adorni, Roberta (2013). Musical expertise affects neural bases of letter recognition. Neuropsychologia, 51(3):538-549.

Abstract

It is known that early music learning (playing of an instrument) modifies functional brain structure (both white and gray matter) and connectivity, especially callosal transfer, motor control/coordination and auditory processing. We compared visual processing of notes and words in 15 professional musicians and 15 controls by recording their synchronized bioelectrical activity (ERPs) in response to words and notes. We found that musical training in childhood (from age ~8 years) modifies neural mechanisms of word reading, whatever the genetic predisposition, which was unknown. While letter processing was strongly left-lateralized in controls, the fusiform (BA37) and inferior occipital gyri (BA18) were activated in both hemispheres in musicians for both word and music processing. The evidence that the neural mechanism of letter processing differed in musicians and controls (being absolutely bilateral in musicians) suggests that musical expertise modifies the neural mechanisms of letter reading.

Abstract

It is known that early music learning (playing of an instrument) modifies functional brain structure (both white and gray matter) and connectivity, especially callosal transfer, motor control/coordination and auditory processing. We compared visual processing of notes and words in 15 professional musicians and 15 controls by recording their synchronized bioelectrical activity (ERPs) in response to words and notes. We found that musical training in childhood (from age ~8 years) modifies neural mechanisms of word reading, whatever the genetic predisposition, which was unknown. While letter processing was strongly left-lateralized in controls, the fusiform (BA37) and inferior occipital gyri (BA18) were activated in both hemispheres in musicians for both word and music processing. The evidence that the neural mechanism of letter processing differed in musicians and controls (being absolutely bilateral in musicians) suggests that musical expertise modifies the neural mechanisms of letter reading.

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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
Date:February 2013
Deposited On:04 Mar 2019 14:08
Last Modified:04 Mar 2019 14:10
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0028-3932
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2012.12.001
PubMed ID:23238370

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