Representational Cortex in Musicians
This chapter hypothesizes that musical aptitude and the training to fulfill it may be associated with plastic changes of neuronal representations in the cortical organization. It specifically discusses a series of experiments that support this hypothesis for the somastosensory and auditory domains. Neuronal representations in the given cortical field of interest are determined by measuring evoked magnetic fields contralateral to the stimulated side with a 37-channel BTi Magnes system. For the somatosensory modality, a brief pneumatic stimulation is applied to the fingertips; for the auditory modality, a variety of different auditory stimuli were delivered to the right ear. Some experimental examples are explained in more detail. Topics covered include the short-term plasticity effect of the auditory cortex induced by notched music, cortical plasticity and musical training, and the dark side of neuroplasticity in musicians.
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