Volume 1252, Issue 1 p. 116-123

Musical expertise induces neuroplasticity of the planum temporale

Martin Meyer

Martin Meyer

Research Unit for Neuroplasticity and Learning in the Healthy Aging Brain, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.

Center for Integrative Human Physiology, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.

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Stefan Elmer

Stefan Elmer

Division of Neuropsychology, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland

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Lutz Jäncke

Lutz Jäncke

Center for Integrative Human Physiology, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.

Division of Neuropsychology, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland

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First published: 23 April 2012
Citations: 30
Martin Meyer, Institute for Psychology, University of Zurich, Sumatrastrasse 30, CH-8006 Zurich, Switzerland. [email protected]

Abstract

The present manuscript summarizes and discusses the implications of recent neuroimaging studies, which have investigated the relationship between musical expertise and structural, as well as functional, changes in an auditory-related association cortex, namely, the planum temporale (PT). Since the bilateral PT is known to serve as a spectrotemporal processor that supports perception of acoustic modulations in both speech and music, it comes as no surprise that musical expertise corresponds to functional sensitivity and neuroanatomical changes in cortical architecture. In this context, we focus on the following question: To what extent does musical expertise affect the functioning of the left and right plana temporalia? We discuss the relationship between behavioral, hemodynamic, and neuroanatomical data obtained from musicians in light of maturational and developmental issues. In particular, we introduce two studies of our group that show to what extent brains of musicians are more proficient in phonetic task performance.