Browsing by Subject "AUDITORY-CORTEX"

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  • Burunat, Iballa; Brattico, Elvira; Puoliväli, Tuomas; Ristaniemi, Tapani; Sams, Mikko; Toiviainen, Petri (2015)
    Musical training leads to sensory and motor neuroplastic changes in the human brain. Motivated by findings on enlarged corpus callosum in musicians and asymmetric somatomotor representation in string players, we investigated the relationship between musical training, callosal anatomy, and interhemispheric functional symmetry during music listening. Functional symmetry was increased in musicians compared to nonmusicians, and in keyboardists compared to string players. This increased functional symmetry was prominent in visual and motor brain networks. Callosal size did not significantly differ between groups except for the posterior callosum in musicians compared to nonmusicians. We conclude that the distinctive postural and kinematic symmetry in instrument playing cross-modally shapes information processing in sensory-motor cortical areas during music listening. This cross-modal plasticity suggests that motor training affects music perception.
  • Ylinen, Sari; Nora, Anni; Service, Elisabet (2020)
    Language learning relies on both short-term and long-term memory. Phonological short-term memory (pSTM) is thought to play an important role in the learning of novel word forms. However, language learners may differ in their ability to maintain word representations in pSTM during interfering auditory input. We used magnetoencephalography (MEG) to investigate how pSTM capacity in better and poorer pSTM groups is linked to language learning and the maintenance of pseudowords in pSTM. In particular, MEG was recorded while participants maintained pseudowords in pSTM by covert speech rehearsal, and while these brain representations were probed by presenting auditory pseudowords with first or third syllables matching or mismatching the rehearsed item. A control condition included identical stimuli but no rehearsal. Differences in response strength between matching and mismatching syllables were interpreted as the phonological mapping negativity (PMN). While PMN for the first syllable was found in both groups, it was observed for the third syllable only in the group with better pSTM. This suggests that individuals with better pSTM maintained representations of trisyllabic pseudowords more accurately during interference than individuals with poorer pSTM. Importantly, the group with better pSTM learned words faster in a paired-associate word learning task, linking the PMN findings to language learning.
  • Nora, Anni; Renvall, Hanna; Kim, Jeong-Young; Salmelin, Riitta; Elisabet Serv (2015)
    Temporal and frontal activations have been implicated in learning of novel word forms, but their specific roles remain poorly understood. The present magnetoencephalography (MEG) study examines the roles of these areas in processing newly-established word form representations. The cortical effects related to acquiring new phonological word forms during incidental learning were localized. Participants listened to and repeated back new word form stimuli that adhered to native phonology (Finnish pseudowords) or were foreign (Korean words), with a subset of the stimuli recurring four times. Subsequently, a modified 1-back task and a recognition task addressed whether the activations modulated by learning were related to planning for overt articulation, while parametrically added noise probed reliance on developing memory representations during effortful perception. Learning resulted in decreased left superior temporal and increased bilateral frontal premotor activation for familiar compared to new items. The left temporal learning effect persisted in all tasks and was strongest when stimuli were embedded in intermediate noise. In the noisy conditions, native phonotactics evoked overall enhanced left temporal activation. In contrast, the frontal learning effects were present only in conditions requiring overt repetition and were more pronounced for the foreign language. The results indicate a functional dissociation between temporal and frontal activations in learning new phonological word forms: the left superior temporal responses reflect activation of newlyestablished word-form representations, also during degraded sensory input, whereas the frontal premotor effects are related to planning for articulation and are not preserved in noise.
  • Sihvonen, Aleksi J.; Särkämö, Teppo; Ripolles, Pablo; Leo, Vera; Saunavaara, Jani; Parkkola, Riitta; Rodriguez-Fornells, Antoni; Soinila, Seppo (2017)
    Brain damage causing acquired amusia disrupts the functional music processing system, creating a unique opportunity to investigate the critical neural architectures of musical processing in the brain. In this longitudinal fMRI study of stroke patients (N = 41) with a 6-month follow-up, we used natural vocal music (sung with lyrics) and instrumental music stimuli to uncover brain activation and functional network connectivity changes associated with acquired amusia and its recovery. In the acute stage, amusic patients exhibited decreased activation in right superior temporal areas compared to non-amusic patients during instrumental music listening. During the follow-up, the activation deficits expanded to comprise a wide-spread bilateral frontal, temporal, and parietal network. The amusics showed less activation deficits to vocal music, suggesting preserved processing of singing in the amusic brain. Compared to non-recovered amusics, recovered amusics showed increased activation to instrumental music in bilateral frontoparietal areas at 3 months and in right middle and inferior frontal areas at 6 months. Amusia recovery was also associated with increased functional connectivity in right and left frontoparietal attention networks to instrumental music. Overall, our findings reveal the dynamic nature of deficient activation and connectivity patterns in acquired amusia and highlight the role of dorsal networks in amusia recovery.
  • Brattico, Elvira; Bogert, Brigitte; Alluri, Vinoo; Tervaniemi, Mari; Eerola, Tuomas; Jacobsen, Thomas (2016)
    Emotion-related areas of the brain, such as the medial frontal cortices, amygdala, and striatum, are activated during listening to sad or happy music as well as during listening to pleasurable music. Indeed, in music, like in other arts, sad and happy emotions might co-exist and be distinct from emotions of pleasure or enjoyment. Here we aimed at discerning the neural correlates of sadness or happiness in music as opposed those related to musical enjoyment. We further investigated whether musical expertise modulates the neural activity during affective listening of music. To these aims, 13 musicians and 16 non-musicians brought to the lab their most liked and disliked musical pieces with a happy and sad connotation. Based on a listening test, we selected the most representative 18 sec excerpts of the emotions of interest for each individual participant. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) recordings were obtained while subjects listened to and rated the excerpts. The cortico-thalamo-striatal reward circuit and motor areas were more active during liked than disliked music, whereas only the auditory cortex and the right amygdala were more active for disliked over liked music. These results discern the brain structures responsible for the perception of sad and happy emotions in music from those related to musical enjoyment. We also obtained novel evidence for functional differences in the limbic system associated with musical expertise, by showing enhanced liking-related activity in fronto-insular and cingulate areas in musicians.
  • Pereira, Carlos Silva; Teixeira, Joao; Figueiredo, Patricia; Xavier, Joao; Castro, Sao Luis; Brattico, Elvira (2011)
  • Sarkamo, Teppo (2018)
    Music engages an extensive network of auditory, cognitive, motor, and emotional processing regions in the brain. Coupled with the fact that the emotional and cognitive impact of music is often well preserved in ageing and dementia, music is a powerful tool in the care and rehabilitation of many ageing-related neurological diseases. In addition to formal music therapy, there has been a growing interest in self- or caregiver-implemented musical leisure activities or hobbies as a widely applicable means to support psychological wellbeing in ageing and in neurological rehabilitation. This article reviews the currently existing evidence on the cognitive, emotional, and neural benefits of musical leisure activities in normal ageing as well as in the rehabilitation and care of two of the most common and ageing-related neurological diseases: stroke and dementia.
  • Sihvonen, Aleksi J.; Särkämö, Teppo; Rodríguez-Fornells, Antoni; Ripollés, Pablo; Münte, Thomas F.; Soinila, Seppo (2019)
    The ability to perceive and produce music is a quintessential element of human life, present in all known cultures. Modern functional neuroimaging has revealed that music listening activates a large-scale bilateral network of cortical and subcortical regions in the healthy brain. Even the most accurate structural studies do not reveal which brain areas are critical and causally linked to music processing. Such questions may be answered by analysing the effects of focal brain lesions in patients' ability to perceive music. In this sense, acquired amusia after stroke provides a unique opportunity to investigate the neural architectures crucial for normal music processing. Based on the first large-scale longitudinal studies on stroke-induced amusia using modern multimodal magnetic resonance imaging (Mn) techniques, such as advanced lesion-symptom mapping, grey and white matter morphometry, tractography and functional connectivity, we discuss neural structures critical for music processing, consider music processing in light of the dual-stream model in the right hemisphere, and propose a neural model for acquired amusia.
  • Putkinen, Vesa; Huotilainen, Minna; Tervaniemi, Mari (2019)
    Musical training in childhood has been linked to enhanced sound encoding at different stages of the auditory processing. In the current study, we used auditory event-related potentials to investigate cortical sound processing in 9- to 15-year-old children (N = 88) with and without musical training. Specifically, we recorded the mismatch negativity (MMN) and P3a responses in an oddball paradigm consisting of standard tone pairs with ascending pitch and deviant tone pairs with descending pitch. A subsample of the children (N = 44) also completed a standardized test of reading ability. The musically trained children showed a larger P3a response to the deviant sound pairs. Furthermore, the amplitude of the P3a correlated with a pseudo-word reading test score. These results corroborate previous findings on enhanced sound encoding in musically trained children and are in line with studies suggesting that neural discrimination of spectrotemporal sound patterns is predictive of reading ability.
  • Virtala, Paula; Tervaniemi, Mari (2017)
  • Ylinen, Sari; Bosseler, Alexis; Junttila, Katja; Huotilainen, Minna (2017)
    The ability to predict future events in the environment and learn from them is a fundamental component of adaptive behavior across species. Here we propose that inferring predictions facilitates speech processing and word learning in the early stages of language development. Twelve- and 24-month olds' electrophysiological brain responses to heard syllables are faster and more robust when the preceding word context predicts the ending of a familiar word. For unfamiliar, novel word forms, however, word-expectancy violation generates a prediction error response, the strength of which significantly correlates with children's vocabulary scores at 12 months. These results suggest that predictive coding may accelerate word recognition and support early learning of novel words, including not only the learning of heard word forms but also their mapping to meanings. Prediction error may mediate learning via attention, since infants' attention allocation to the entire learning situation in natural environments could account for the link between prediction error and the understanding of word meanings. On the whole, the present results on predictive coding support the view that principles of brain function reported across domains in humans and non-human animals apply to language and its development in the infant brain. A video abstract of this article can be viewed at: [Correction added on 27 January 2017, after first online publication: The video abstract link was added.]
  • Partanen, Eino; Kujala, Teija; Tervaniemi, Mari; Huotilainen, Minna (2013)
    We investigated the neural correlates induced by prenatal exposure to melodies using brains' event-related potentials (ERPs). During the last trimester of pregnancy, the mothers in the learning group played the ‘Twinkle twinkle little star’ -melody 5 times per week. After birth and again at the age of 4 months, we played the infants a modified melody in which some of the notes were changed while ERPs to unchanged and changed notes were recorded. The ERPs were also recorded from a control group, who received no prenatal stimulation. Both at birth and at the age of 4 months, infants in the learning group had stronger ERPs to the unchanged notes than the control group. Furthermore, the ERP amplitudes to the changed and unchanged notes at birth were correlated with the amount of prenatal exposure. Our results show that extensive prenatal exposure to a melody induces neural representations that last for several months.
  • Palva, Satu; Palva, J. Matias (2018)
    Sensorimotor predictions are essential for adaptive behavior. In natural environments, events that demand sensorimotor predictions unfold across many timescales, and corresponding temporal predictions (either explicit or implicit) should therefore emerge in brain dynamics. Neuronal oscillations are scale-specific processes found in several frequency bands. They underlie periodicity in sensorimotor processing and can represent temporal predictions via their phase dynamics. These processes build upon endogenous neural rhythmicity and adapt in response to exogenous timing demands. While much of the research on periodicity in neural processing has focused on subsecond oscillations, these fast-scale rhythms are in fact paralleled by critical-like, scale-free dynamics and fluctuations of brain activity at various timescales, ranging from seconds to hundreds of seconds. In this review, we put forth a framework positing that critical brain dynamics are essential for the role of neuronal oscillations in timing and that cross-frequency coupling flexibly organizes neuronal processing across multiple frequencies.
  • Särkämö, Teppo Tapio; Ripollés, Pablo; Vepsäläinen, Henna Reetta; Autti, Taina Helena; Silvennoinen, Heli Marjukka; Salli, Eero; Laitinen, Sari; Forsblom, Anita; Soinila, Seppo; Rodríguez-Fornells, Antoni (2014)
    Music is a highly complex and versatile stimulus for the brain that engages many temporal, frontal, parietal, cerebellar, and subcortical areas involved in auditory, cognitive, emotional, and motor processing. Regular musical activities have been shown to effectively enhance the structure and function of many brain areas, making music a potential tool also in neurological rehabilitation. In our previous randomized controlled study, we found that listening to music on a daily basis can improve cognitive recovery and improve mood after an acute middle cerebral artery stroke. Extending this study, a voxel-based morphometry (VBM) analysis utilizing cost function masking was performed on the acute and 6-month post-stroke stage structural magnetic resonance imaging data of the patients (n = 49) who either listened to their favorite music [music group (MG), n = 16] or verbal material [audio book group (ABG), n = 18] or did not receive any listening material [control group (CG), n = 15] during the 6-month recovery period. Although all groups showed significant gray matter volume (GMV) increases from the acute to the 6-month stage, there was a specific network of frontal areas [left and right superior frontal gyrus (SFG), right medial SFG] and limbic areas [left ventral/subgenual anterior cingulate cortex (SACC) and right ventral striatum (VS)] in patients with left hemisphere damage in which the GMV increases were larger in the MG than in the ABG and in the CG. Moreover, the GM reorganization in the frontal areas correlated with enhanced recovery of verbal memory, focused attention, and language skills, whereas the GM reorganization in the SACC correlated with reduced negative mood. This study adds on previous results, showing that music listening after stroke not only enhances behavioral recovery, but also induces fine-grained neuroanatomical changes in the recovering brain.
  • Sihvonen, Aleksi J.; Ripolles, Pablo; Särkämö, Teppo; Leo, Vera; Rodriguez-Fornells, Antoni; Saunavaara, Jani; Parkkola, Riitta; Soinila, Seppo (2017)
    Acquired amusia provides a unique opportunity to investigate the fundamental neural architectures of musical processing due to the transition from a functioning to defective music processing system. Yet, the white matter (WM) deficits in amusia remain systematically unexplored. To evaluate which WM structures form the neural basis for acquired amusia and its recovery, we studied 42 stroke patients longitudinally at acute, 3-month, and 6-month post-stroke stages using DTI [tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) and deterministic tractography (DT)] and the Scale and Rhythm subtests of the Montreal Battery of Evaluation of Amusia (MBEA). Non-recovered amusia was associated with structural damage and subsequent degeneration in multiple WM tracts including the right inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus (IFOF), arcuate fasciculus (AF), inferior longitudinal fasciculus (ILF), uncinate fasciculus (UF), and frontal aslant tract (FAT), as well as in the corpus callosum (CC) and its posterior part (tapetum). In a linear regression analysis, the volume of the right IFOF was the main predictor of MBEA performance across time. Overall, our results provide a comprehensive picture of the large-scale deficits in intra- and interhemispheric structural connectivity underlying amusia, and conversely highlight which pathways are crucial for normal music perception.