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Bad Münster am Stein-Ebernburg, Germany

Boh B.,Maastricht University | Herholz S.C.,Montreal Neurological Institute | Lappe C.,Institute for Biomagnetism and Biosignalanalysis | Pantev C.,Institute for Biomagnetism and Biosignalanalysis | Pantev C.,Westfalian Wilhelms University
PLoS ONE | Year: 2011

In the present study we investigated the capacity of the memory store underlying the mismatch negativity (MMN) response in musicians and nonmusicians for complex tone patterns. While previous studies have focused either on the kind of information that can be encoded or on the decay of the memory trace over time, we studied capacity in terms of the length of tone sequences, i.e., the number of individual tones that can be fully encoded and maintained. By means of magnetoencephalography (MEG) we recorded MMN responses to deviant tones that could occur at any position of standard tone patterns composed of four, six or eight tones during passive, distracted listening. Whereas there was a reliable MMN response to deviant tones in the four-tone pattern in both musicians and nonmusicians, only some individuals showed MMN responses to the longer patterns. This finding of a reliable capacity of the short-term auditory store underlying the MMN response is in line with estimates of a three to five item capacity of the short-term memory trace from behavioural studies, although pitch and contour complexity covaried with sequence length, which might have led to an understatement of the reported capacity. Whereas there was a tendency for an enhancement of the pattern MMN in musicians compared to nonmusicians, a strong advantage for musicians could be shown in an accompanying behavioural task of detecting the deviants while attending to the stimuli for all pattern lengths, indicating that long-term musical training differentially affects the memory capacity of auditory short-term memory for complex tone patterns with and without attention. Also, a left-hemispheric lateralization of MMN responses in the six-tone pattern suggests that additional networks that help structuring the patterns in the temporal domain might be recruited for demanding auditory processing in the pitch domain. © 2011 Boh et al. Source

Pantev C.,Institute for Biomagnetism and Biosignalanalysis | Okamoto H.,Institute for Biomagnetism and Biosignalanalysis | Teismann H.,Institute for Biomagnetism and Biosignalanalysis
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences | Year: 2012

Music has increasingly been used as a tool for investigation of human cognition and its underlying brain mechanisms. However, music can be used also for neurorehabilitation. Chronic tinnitus is a symptom with high prevalence, especially in industrialized countries. There is evidence that the tinnitus perception is related to unfavorable cortical plastic changes. Maladaptive auditory cortex reorganization may contribute to the generation and maintenance of tinnitus. Because cortical organization can be modified by behavioral training, potentially via reversing maladaptive auditory cortex reorganization, we attempted to reduce tinnitus loudness by exposing chronic tinnitus patients to self-chosen, enjoyable music that was modified ("notched") to contain no energy in the frequency range surrounding the individual tinnitus frequency and thus attracting lateral inhibition to the brain area generating tinnitus. On this basis, we have developed and evaluated a customized music training strategy that appears capable of both reducing cortical tinnitus-related neuronal activity and alleviating subjective tinnitus perception. © 2012 New York Academy of Sciences. Source

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