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Action in Perception: Prominent Visuo-Motor Functional Symmetry in Musicians during Music Listening

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  • Iballa Burunat
  • ,
  • Elvira Brattico
  • Tuomas Puoliväli
  • ,
  • Tapani Ristaniemi
  • ,
  • Mikko Sams
  • ,
  • Petri Toiviainen

Musical training leads to sensory and motor neuroplastic changes in the human brain. Motivated by findings on enlarged corpus callosum in musicians and asymmetric somatomotor representation in string players, we investigated the relationship between musical training, callosal anatomy, and interhemispheric functional symmetry during music listening. Functional symmetry was increased in musicians compared to nonmusicians, and in keyboardists compared to string players. This increased functional symmetry was prominent in visual and motor brain networks. Callosal size did not significantly differ between groups except for the posterior callosum in musicians compared to nonmusicians. We conclude that the distinctive postural and kinematic symmetry in instrument playing cross-modally shapes information processing in sensory-motor cortical areas during music listening. This cross-modal plasticity suggests that motor training affects music perception.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e0138238
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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