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  Neuroanatomical disposition, natural development and training-induced plasticity of the human auditory system from childhood to adulthood: A 12-year study in musicians and non-musicians

Schneider, P., Engelmann, D., Groß, C., Bernhofs, V., Hofmann, E., Christiner, M., et al. (2023). Neuroanatomical disposition, natural development and training-induced plasticity of the human auditory system from childhood to adulthood: A 12-year study in musicians and non-musicians. The Journal of Neuroscience, 43(37), 6430-6446. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0274-23.2023.

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Schneider, Peter1, 2, 3, 4, Author
Engelmann, Dorte2, 3, Author
Groß, Christine2, 4, Author
Bernhofs, Valdis4, Author
Hofmann, Elke5, Author
Christiner, Markus1, 2, 4, Author
Benner, Jan3, Author
Bücher, Steffen2, Author
Ludwig, Alexander3, Author
Serrallach, Bettina L.2, 3, Author
Zeidler, Bettina M.1, 3, Author
Turker, Sabrina6, Author                 
Parncutt, Richard1, Author
Seither-Preisler, Annemarie1, 7, Author
1Centre for Systematic Musicology, Karl Franzens University, Graz, Austria, ou_persistent22              
2Section of Biomagnetism, Medical School, University of Heidelberg, Germany, ou_persistent22              
3Division of Neuroradiology, Medical School, University of Heidelberg, Germany, ou_persistent22              
4Latvian Academy of Music, Riga, Latvia, ou_persistent22              
5University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW), Basel, Switzerland, ou_persistent22              
6Lise Meitner Research Group Cognition and Plasticity, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_3025665              
7BioTechMed, Graz, Austria, ou_persistent22              


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 Abstract: Auditory perception is fundamental to human development and communication. Yet, no long-term studies have been performed on the plasticity of the auditory system as a function of musical training from childhood to adulthood. The long-term interplay between developmental and training-induced neuroplasticity of auditory processing is still unknown. We present results from AMseL ('Audio and Neuroplasticity of Musical Learning'), the first longitudinal study on the development of the human auditory system from primary school age until late adolescence. This 12-year project combined neurological and behavioral methods including structural magnetic resonance imaging, magnetoencephalography, and auditory tests. A cohort of 112 typically developing participants (51 male, 61 female), classified as 'musicians' (n=66) and 'non-musicians' (n=46), was tested at five measurement time points. We found substantial, stable differences in the morphology of auditory cortex between musicians and non-musicians even at the earliest ages, suggesting that musical aptitude is manifested in macroscopic neuroanatomical characteristics. Maturational plasticity led to a continuous increase in white matter myelination and systematic changes of the auditory evoked P1-N1-P2 complex (decreasing latencies, synchronization effects between hemispheres, and amplitude changes) regardless of musical expertise. Musicians showed substantial training-related changes at the neurofunctional level, in particular more synchronized P1 responses and bilaterally larger P2 amplitudes. Musical training had a positive influence on elementary auditory perception (frequency, tone duration, onset ramp) and pattern recognition (rhythm, subjective pitch). The observed interplay between 'nature' (stable biological dispositions and natural maturation) and 'nurture' (learning-induced plasticity) is integrated into a novel neurodevelopmental model of the human auditory system.


Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2023-07-112023-02-142023-07-102023-08-212023-09-13
 Publication Status: Issued
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: -
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0274-23.2023
Other: epub 2023
PMID: 37604688
 Degree: -



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Project name : -
Grant ID : 01KJ0809/10; 01KJ1204
Funding program : -
Funding organization : German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
Project name : -
Grant ID : SCHN 965/7-1
Funding program : -
Funding organization : German Research Foundation (DFG)

Source 1

Title: The Journal of Neuroscience
  Other : J. Neurosci.
Source Genre: Journal
Publ. Info: Baltimore, MD : The Society
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 43 (37) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 6430 - 6446 Identifier: ISSN: 0270-6474
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954925502187