Special Issue "Music and Neural Plasticity"

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A special issue of Brain Sciences (ISSN 2076-3425).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2014)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Mari Tervaniemi

Cognitive Brain Research Unit, Institute of Behavioural Sciences, P.O.B. 9, 00014 University of Helsinki, Finland
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +358504150213
Interests: music psychology, neurosciences of music, modularity of speech vs. music, musical expertise, music emotions, development of music skills, daily use of music

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

As established in adult musicians, music training and expertise can facilitate various brain functions and even have their markers in the brain structures. However, the neuroplastic promises of music to facilitate music-related or music-unrelated perceptual and cognitive functions in school-aged children are not yet adequately documented. In parallel, various projects are currently underway in order to find out the means in which musical practices such as singing, playing, and listening might facilitate the recovery in neurological and psychiatric disorders. The current special issue aims at introducing recent findings in these topics which carry both scientific and societal impact.

Dr. Mari Tervaniemi
Guest Editor

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Brain Sciences is an international peer-reviewed Open Access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 600 CHF (Swiss Francs). English correction and/or formatting fees of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections.

Keywords

  • music learning
  • music performance
  • music education
  • music medicine
  • music therapy

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Neuroplasticity beyond Sounds: Neural Adaptations Following Long-Term Musical Aesthetic Experiences
Brain Sci. 2015, 5(1), 69-91; doi:10.3390/brainsci5010069
Received: 25 November 2014 / Revised: 14 February 2015 / Accepted: 4 March 2015 / Published: 23 March 2015
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (262 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Capitalizing from neuroscience knowledge on how individuals are affected by the sound environment, we propose to adopt a cybernetic and ecological point of view on the musical aesthetic experience, which includes subprocesses, such as feature extraction and integration, early affective reactions and motor
[...] Read more.
Capitalizing from neuroscience knowledge on how individuals are affected by the sound environment, we propose to adopt a cybernetic and ecological point of view on the musical aesthetic experience, which includes subprocesses, such as feature extraction and integration, early affective reactions and motor actions, style mastering and conceptualization, emotion and proprioception, evaluation and preference. In this perspective, the role of the listener/composer/performer is seen as that of an active “agent” coping in highly individual ways with the sounds. The findings concerning the neural adaptations in musicians, following long-term exposure to music, are then reviewed by keeping in mind the distinct subprocesses of a musical aesthetic experience. We conclude that these neural adaptations can be conceived of as the immediate and lifelong interactions with multisensorial stimuli (having a predominant auditory component), which result in lasting changes of the internal state of the “agent”. In a continuous loop, these changes affect, in turn, the subprocesses involved in a musical aesthetic experience, towards the final goal of achieving better perceptual, motor and proprioceptive responses to the immediate demands of the sounding environment. The resulting neural adaptations in musicians closely depend on the duration of the interactions, the starting age, the involvement of attention, the amount of motor practice and the musical genre played. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Music and Neural Plasticity)
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Open AccessArticle Neural Correlates of Amusia in Williams Syndrome
Brain Sci. 2014, 4(4), 594-612; doi:10.3390/brainsci4040594
Received: 8 August 2014 / Revised: 29 October 2014 / Accepted: 5 November 2014 / Published: 21 November 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (670 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Congenital amusia is defined by marked deficits in pitch perception and production. Though historically examined only in otherwise typically developing (TD) populations, amusia has recently been documented in Williams syndrome (WS), a genetic, neurodevelopmental disorder with a unique auditory phenotype including auditory sensitivities
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Congenital amusia is defined by marked deficits in pitch perception and production. Though historically examined only in otherwise typically developing (TD) populations, amusia has recently been documented in Williams syndrome (WS), a genetic, neurodevelopmental disorder with a unique auditory phenotype including auditory sensitivities and increased emotional responsiveness to music but variable musical skill. The current study used structural T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging and diffusion tensor imaging to examine neural correlates of amusia in 17 individuals with WS (4 of whom met criteria for amusia). Consistent with findings from TD amusics, amusia in WS was associated with decreased fractional anisotropy (FA) in the right superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF). The relationship between amusia and FA in the inferior component of the SLF was particularly robust, withstanding corrections for cognitive functioning, auditory sensitivities, or musical training. Though the number of individuals with amusia in the study is small, results add to evidence for the role of fronto-temporal disconnectivity in congenital amusia and suggest that novel populations with developmental differences can provide a window into understanding gene-brain-behavior relationships that underlie musical behaviors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Music and Neural Plasticity)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Human Brain Basis of Musical Rhythm Perception: Common and Distinct Neural Substrates for Meter, Tempo, and Pattern
Brain Sci. 2014, 4(2), 428-452; doi:10.3390/brainsci4020428
Received: 14 January 2014 / Revised: 26 May 2014 / Accepted: 30 May 2014 / Published: 17 June 2014
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (3578 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Rhythm as the time structure of music is composed of distinct temporal components such as pattern, meter, and tempo. Each feature requires different computational processes: meter involves representing repeating cycles of strong and weak beats; pattern involves representing intervals at each local time
[...] Read more.
Rhythm as the time structure of music is composed of distinct temporal components such as pattern, meter, and tempo. Each feature requires different computational processes: meter involves representing repeating cycles of strong and weak beats; pattern involves representing intervals at each local time point which vary in length across segments and are linked hierarchically; and tempo requires representing frequency rates of underlying pulse structures. We explored whether distinct rhythmic elements engage different neural mechanisms by recording brain activity of adult musicians and non-musicians with positron emission tomography (PET) as they made covert same-different discriminations of (a) pairs of rhythmic, monotonic tone sequences representing changes in pattern, tempo, and meter, and (b) pairs of isochronous melodies. Common to pattern, meter, and tempo tasks were focal activities in right, or bilateral, areas of frontal, cingulate, parietal, prefrontal, temporal, and cerebellar cortices. Meter processing alone activated areas in right prefrontal and inferior frontal cortex associated with more cognitive and abstract representations. Pattern processing alone recruited right cortical areas involved in different kinds of auditory processing. Tempo processing alone engaged mechanisms subserving somatosensory and premotor information (e.g., posterior insula, postcentral gyrus). Melody produced activity different from the rhythm conditions (e.g., right anterior insula and various cerebellar areas). These exploratory findings suggest the outlines of some distinct neural components underlying the components of rhythmic structure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Music and Neural Plasticity)
Open AccessArticle Pitch Processing in Children with Williams Syndrome: Relationships between Music and Prosody Skills
Brain Sci. 2014, 4(2), 376-395; doi:10.3390/brainsci4020376
Received: 31 December 2013 / Revised: 17 February 2014 / Accepted: 5 May 2014 / Published: 15 May 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (312 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Williams syndrome (WS), a genetic neurodevelopmental disorder, has been taken as evidence that music and language constitute separate modules. This research focused on the linguistic component of prosody and aimed to assess whether relationships exist between the pitch processing mechanisms for music and
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Williams syndrome (WS), a genetic neurodevelopmental disorder, has been taken as evidence that music and language constitute separate modules. This research focused on the linguistic component of prosody and aimed to assess whether relationships exist between the pitch processing mechanisms for music and prosody in WS. Children with WS and typically developing individuals were presented with a musical pitch and two prosody discrimination tasks. In the musical pitch discrimination task, participants were required to distinguish whether two musical tones were the same or different. The prosody discrimination tasks evaluated participants’ skills for discriminating pairs of prosodic contours based on pitch or pitch, loudness and length, jointly. In WS, musical pitch discrimination was significantly correlated with performance on the prosody task assessing the discrimination of prosodic contours based on pitch only. Furthermore, musical pitch discrimination skills predicted performance on the prosody task based on pitch, and this relationship was not better explained by chronological age, vocabulary or auditory memory. These results suggest that children with WS process pitch in music and prosody through shared mechanisms. We discuss the implications of these results for theories of cognitive modularity. The implications of these results for intervention programs for individuals with WS are also discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Music and Neural Plasticity)
Open AccessArticle Pitch and Plasticity: Insights from the Pitch Matching of Chords by Musicians with Absolute and Relative Pitch
Brain Sci. 2013, 3(4), 1615-1634; doi:10.3390/brainsci3041615
Received: 26 September 2013 / Revised: 5 November 2013 / Accepted: 25 November 2013 / Published: 3 December 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (524 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Absolute pitch (AP) is a form of sound recognition in which musical note names are associated with discrete musical pitch categories. The accuracy of pitch matching by non-AP musicians for chords has recently been shown to depend on stimulus familiarity, pointing to a
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Absolute pitch (AP) is a form of sound recognition in which musical note names are associated with discrete musical pitch categories. The accuracy of pitch matching by non-AP musicians for chords has recently been shown to depend on stimulus familiarity, pointing to a role of spectral recognition mechanisms in the early stages of pitch processing. Here we show that pitch matching accuracy by AP musicians was also dependent on their familiarity with the chord stimulus. This suggests that the pitch matching abilities of both AP and non-AP musicians for concurrently presented pitches are dependent on initial recognition of the chord. The dual mechanism model of pitch perception previously proposed by the authors suggests that spectral processing associated with sound recognition primes waveform processing to extract stimulus periodicity and refine pitch perception. The findings presented in this paper are consistent with the dual mechanism model of pitch, and in the case of AP musicians, the formation of nominal pitch categories based on both spectral and periodicity information. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Music and Neural Plasticity)

Review

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Open AccessReview Compensatory Plasticity in the Deaf Brain: Effects on Perception of Music
Brain Sci. 2014, 4(4), 560-574; doi:10.3390/brainsci4040560
Received: 28 May 2014 / Revised: 25 August 2014 / Accepted: 22 September 2014 / Published: 28 October 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (725 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
When one sense is unavailable, sensory responsibilities shift and processing of the remaining modalities becomes enhanced to compensate for missing information. This shift, referred to as compensatory plasticity, results in a unique sensory experience for individuals who are deaf, including the manner in
[...] Read more.
When one sense is unavailable, sensory responsibilities shift and processing of the remaining modalities becomes enhanced to compensate for missing information. This shift, referred to as compensatory plasticity, results in a unique sensory experience for individuals who are deaf, including the manner in which music is perceived. This paper evaluates the neural, behavioural and cognitive evidence for compensatory plasticity following auditory deprivation and considers how this manifests in a unique experience of music that emphasizes visual and vibrotactile modalities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Music and Neural Plasticity)
Open AccessReview Can Musical Training Influence Brain Connectivity? Evidence from Diffusion Tensor MRI
Brain Sci. 2014, 4(2), 405-427; doi:10.3390/brainsci4020405
Received: 3 March 2014 / Revised: 19 March 2014 / Accepted: 20 May 2014 / Published: 10 June 2014
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (439 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In recent years, musicians have been increasingly recruited to investigate grey and white matter neuroplasticity induced by skill acquisition. The development of Diffusion Tensor Magnetic Resonance Imaging (DT-MRI) has allowed more detailed investigation of white matter connections within the brain, addressing questions about
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In recent years, musicians have been increasingly recruited to investigate grey and white matter neuroplasticity induced by skill acquisition. The development of Diffusion Tensor Magnetic Resonance Imaging (DT-MRI) has allowed more detailed investigation of white matter connections within the brain, addressing questions about the effect of musical training on connectivity between specific brain regions. Here, current DT-MRI analysis techniques are discussed and the available evidence from DT-MRI studies into differences in white matter architecture between musicians and non-musicians is reviewed. Collectively, the existing literature tends to support the hypothesis that musical training can induce changes in cross-hemispheric connections, with significant differences frequently reported in various regions of the corpus callosum of musicians compared with non-musicians. However, differences found in intra-hemispheric fibres have not always been replicated, while findings regarding the internal capsule and corticospinal tracts appear to be contradictory. There is also recent evidence to suggest that variances in white matter structure in non-musicians may correlate with their ability to learn musical skills, offering an alternative explanation for the structural differences observed between musicians and non-musicians. Considering the inconsistencies in the current literature, possible reasons for conflicting results are offered, along with suggestions for future research in this area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Music and Neural Plasticity)

Other

Jump to: Research, Review

Open AccessCommentary Auditory Reserve and the Legacy of Auditory Experience
Brain Sci. 2014, 4(4), 575-593; doi:10.3390/brainsci4040575
Received: 26 May 2014 / Revised: 20 October 2014 / Accepted: 28 October 2014 / Published: 14 November 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (833 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Musical training during childhood has been linked to more robust encoding of sound later in life. We take this as evidence for an auditory reserve: a mechanism by which individuals capitalize on earlier life experiences to promote auditory processing. We assert that early
[...] Read more.
Musical training during childhood has been linked to more robust encoding of sound later in life. We take this as evidence for an auditory reserve: a mechanism by which individuals capitalize on earlier life experiences to promote auditory processing. We assert that early auditory experiences guide how the reserve develops and is maintained over the lifetime. Experiences that occur after childhood, or which are limited in nature, are theorized to affect the reserve, although their influence on sensory processing may be less long-lasting and may potentially fade over time if not repeated. This auditory reserve may help to explain individual differences in how individuals cope with auditory impoverishment or loss of sensorineural function. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Music and Neural Plasticity)

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