Localization of pitch in the brain?

ms optimism32 at hotmail.com
Thu Jul 19 08:23:48 EST 2001

Cerebral Cortex, Vol. 11, No. 8, 754-760, August 2001
© 2001 Oxford University Press

Functional Anatomy of Musical Perception in Musicians
Takashi Ohnishi, Hiroshi Matsuda, Takashi Asada, Makoto Aruga1,, Makiko
Hirakata1,, Masami Nishikawa, Asako Katoh and Etsuko Imabayashi
Department of Radiology and Psychiatry, National Center Hospital of Mental,
Nervous and Muscular Disorders, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry
1 Department of Music, Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music,
4-1-1 Ogawa higashi, Kodaira City, Tokyo 187-8551, Japan

The present study used functional magnetic resonance to examine the cerebral
activity pattern associated with musical perception in musicians and
non-musicians. Musicians showed left dominant secondary auditory areas in
the temporal cortex and the left posterior dorsolateral prefrontal cortex
during a passive music listening task, whereas non-musicians demonstrated
right dominant secondary auditory areas during the same task. A significant
difference in the degree of activation between musicians and non-musicians
was noted in the bilateral planum temporale and the left posterior
dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. The degree of activation of the left planum
temporale correlated well with the age at which the person had begun musical
training. Furthermore, the degree of activation in the left posterior
dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and the left planum temporale correlated
significantly with absolute pitch ability. The results indicated distinct
neural activity in the auditory association areas and the prefrontal cortex
of trained musicians. We suggest that such activity is associated with
absolute pitch ability and the use-dependent functional reorganization
produced by the early commencement of long-term training.

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