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Music in the brain: Neural bases of piano performance


Sammler,  Daniela
Otto Hahn Group Neural Bases of Intonation in Speech, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Sammler, D. (2020). Music in the brain: Neural bases of piano performance. Talk presented at Colloquium of International Research Center for Neurointelligence. University of Tokyo, Japan. 2020-11-06 - 2020-11-06.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-5A06-E
Over the past 30 years, research on the neurocognition of music has gained a lot of insights into how the brain perceives music. Yet, our knowledge about the neural mechanisms of music production remains sparse. The present line of research isolated distinct levels of action planning in solo pianists and identified dynamically balanced mechanisms of interaction in duetting pianists using 3T fMRI and dual EEG. The data converge on three main findings: (A) lateral prefrontal cortex acts as a hub for solo music production by linking distinct neural networks for abstract structural and concrete motor planning, (B) motor knowledge fine-tunes the detection of temporal discrepancies between duo partners in the cerebellum, and (C) the dynamics of interbrain synchrony reflect the flexible reliance on own motor knowledge or the other’s timing depending on interaction demands. Altogether, it will become clear that solo and joint music performance relies on general principles of human cognition tuned to achieve the motoric perfection required on stage.