The cerebral organization of audiomotor transformations in music

  • Robert Harris (Speaker)

    Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk


    The transformation of music into movement takes place while dancing, singing, and playing an instrument. The human capacity for beat induction facilitates rhythmic movement to the musical beat, a capacity share with only a few animals. While Parkinson patients are limited in their locomotive abilities, they are nevertheless capable of moving fluently while listening to music, particularly music with a salient beat. Entrainment to melodic contour is a purely human capacity called relative pitch. While Parkinson patients suffer from dysprosody, they maintain their ability to sing normal melodic contour. Improvising musicians are better able to transform aurally perceived music into playing movement than classically-trained musicians. Classical musicians are characterized by higher activation of the left hemisphere, while improvising musicians additionally activate a right-hemisphere frontoparietal network dedicated to sensorimotor transformation in the context of spatially-organized hand movement. These activations may be associated with top-down influences on aural perception of music mediated by the dorsal stream, recruiting procedural knowledge of music syntax during performance.
    Period25 Apr 2017
    Held atMedisch Centrum Leeuwarden, Netherlands
    Degree of RecognitionLocal


    • audiomotor transformations
    • dorsal stream
    • procedural learning
    • parkinsons disease
    • dysprosody
    • music