Cerebral activations in highly-skilled musicians: an fMRI study

    Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation


    Using fMRI, ten improvising musicians were contrasted with 10 non-musicians to explore brain activations while playing by ear. Subjects either imagined playing the music they were listening to, without moving their hands, or assessed the performance verbally without actually speaking. Half of the music excerpts was familiar, the other half unfamiliar. Musicians exhibited significantly larger activation of bilateral premotor cortex and right parietal cortex. Activation of right posterior superior parietal cortex was elicited specifically by imagining that they were playing by ear.
    Period10 Jan 2012
    Held atUniversity of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Department of Neurology, Netherlands
    Degree of RecognitionLocal


    • motor imagery
    • music performance
    • improvisation
    • cerebral activations
    • mirror neurons