Brain changes after learning to read and play music

Lauren Stewart, Rik Henson, Knut Kampe, Vincent Walsh, Robert Turner, Uta Frith

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Musically naive participants were scanned before and after a period of 15 weeks during which they were taught to read music and play the keyboard. When participants played melodies from musical notation after training, activation was seen in a cluster of voxels within the bilateral superior parietal cortex. A subset of these voxels were activated in a second experiment in which musical notation was present, but irrelevant for task performance. These activations suggest that music reading involves the automatic sensorimotor translation of a spatial code (written music) into a series of motor responses (keypresses).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-83
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2003


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