Music, musicians, and brain plasticity

Gottfried Schlaug

in Oxford Handbook of Music Psychology

Published in print December 2008 | ISBN: 9780199298457
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Music, musicians, and brain plasticity

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  • Cognitive Psychology


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This article reviews studies on the brains of musicians. Making music not only engages primary auditory and motor regions and the connections between them, but also regions that integrate and connect areas involved in both auditory and motor operations, as well as in the integration of other multisensory information. Professional instrumentalists learn and repeatedly practice associating hand/finger movements with meaningful patterns in sound, and sounds and movements with specific visual patterns (notation) while receiving continuous multisensory feedback. Learning to associate actions with particular sounds leads to functional but also structural changes in frontal cortices.

Keywords: brain regions; musicians; musical instrument; structural change

Article.  6631 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Psychology

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