Cerebral activations in highly-skilled keyboard performers: an fMRI study

Robert Harris, Bauke M. de Jong

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterOther research output

Abstract

Recognition of action, goals and intentions has been shown to be mediated by a multimodal mirror-neuron system, not only in monkeys, but also in humans. A fronto-parietal network of brain areas has been identified where these neurons are located. We should expect musical actions, goals and intentions to be mediated by this system as well. In this fMRI study, we present audio recordings of music composed in two-part harmony to 10 professional, improvising keyboard performers. The first task (Motor Imagery) was to imagine playing the piece, the second task (Judgment) to listen attentively while assessing the performance . Half of the pieces were familiar, the other half unfamiliar. A group of musically unskilled subjects participated as controls. As hypothesized, a fronto-parietal network of cerebral areas was activated, not only during Motor Imagery, but also during Judgement, including activity in left, ventral PMC. In a behavioral test, the ability of these performers to recognize musical actions, goals and intentions was corroborated. Performers listened to various excerpts, played them by ear, harmonized them and transposed them, demonstrating that they not only could replicate, but also manipulate them in a musically plausible manner, suggesting that the cerebral activations observed could indeed be ascribed to recognition of musical action, goals and intentions.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Keywords

  • music performance
  • improvisation
  • neuroscience
  • embodied cognition
  • mirror neurons

Cite this

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title = "Cerebral activations in highly-skilled keyboard performers: an fMRI study",
abstract = "Recognition of action, goals and intentions has been shown to be mediated by a multimodal mirror-neuron system, not only in monkeys, but also in humans. A fronto-parietal network of brain areas has been identified where these neurons are located. We should expect musical actions, goals and intentions to be mediated by this system as well. In this fMRI study, we present audio recordings of music composed in two-part harmony to 10 professional, improvising keyboard performers. The first task (Motor Imagery) was to imagine playing the piece, the second task (Judgment) to listen attentively while assessing the performance . Half of the pieces were familiar, the other half unfamiliar. A group of musically unskilled subjects participated as controls. As hypothesized, a fronto-parietal network of cerebral areas was activated, not only during Motor Imagery, but also during Judgement, including activity in left, ventral PMC. In a behavioral test, the ability of these performers to recognize musical actions, goals and intentions was corroborated. Performers listened to various excerpts, played them by ear, harmonized them and transposed them, demonstrating that they not only could replicate, but also manipulate them in a musically plausible manner, suggesting that the cerebral activations observed could indeed be ascribed to recognition of musical action, goals and intentions.",
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Cerebral activations in highly-skilled keyboard performers : an fMRI study. / Harris, Robert; de Jong, Bauke M.

2014.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterOther research output

TY - CONF

T1 - Cerebral activations in highly-skilled keyboard performers

T2 - an fMRI study

AU - Harris, Robert

AU - de Jong, Bauke M.

PY - 2014

Y1 - 2014

N2 - Recognition of action, goals and intentions has been shown to be mediated by a multimodal mirror-neuron system, not only in monkeys, but also in humans. A fronto-parietal network of brain areas has been identified where these neurons are located. We should expect musical actions, goals and intentions to be mediated by this system as well. In this fMRI study, we present audio recordings of music composed in two-part harmony to 10 professional, improvising keyboard performers. The first task (Motor Imagery) was to imagine playing the piece, the second task (Judgment) to listen attentively while assessing the performance . Half of the pieces were familiar, the other half unfamiliar. A group of musically unskilled subjects participated as controls. As hypothesized, a fronto-parietal network of cerebral areas was activated, not only during Motor Imagery, but also during Judgement, including activity in left, ventral PMC. In a behavioral test, the ability of these performers to recognize musical actions, goals and intentions was corroborated. Performers listened to various excerpts, played them by ear, harmonized them and transposed them, demonstrating that they not only could replicate, but also manipulate them in a musically plausible manner, suggesting that the cerebral activations observed could indeed be ascribed to recognition of musical action, goals and intentions.

AB - Recognition of action, goals and intentions has been shown to be mediated by a multimodal mirror-neuron system, not only in monkeys, but also in humans. A fronto-parietal network of brain areas has been identified where these neurons are located. We should expect musical actions, goals and intentions to be mediated by this system as well. In this fMRI study, we present audio recordings of music composed in two-part harmony to 10 professional, improvising keyboard performers. The first task (Motor Imagery) was to imagine playing the piece, the second task (Judgment) to listen attentively while assessing the performance . Half of the pieces were familiar, the other half unfamiliar. A group of musically unskilled subjects participated as controls. As hypothesized, a fronto-parietal network of cerebral areas was activated, not only during Motor Imagery, but also during Judgement, including activity in left, ventral PMC. In a behavioral test, the ability of these performers to recognize musical actions, goals and intentions was corroborated. Performers listened to various excerpts, played them by ear, harmonized them and transposed them, demonstrating that they not only could replicate, but also manipulate them in a musically plausible manner, suggesting that the cerebral activations observed could indeed be ascribed to recognition of musical action, goals and intentions.

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KW - improvisatie

KW - neurowetenschappen

KW - belichaamde cognitie

KW - spiegelneuronen

KW - music performance

KW - improvisation

KW - neuroscience

KW - embodied cognition

KW - mirror neurons

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