Music training augments oscillatory brain activity in children and adults


Using data from his PhD research conducted in our laboratory showing augmented cortical representations induced by music training (Shahin et al., 2003, 2004), Antoine Shahin found that music training enhances brain oscillatory in professional musicians and in children receiving Suzuki music lessons (Shahin et al, 2008).  These enhancements were especially pronounced for sounds of the instrument of practice.  Oscillatory activity is believed to reflect communication among brain regions that occurs when complex skills are formed.    In another paper from this series (Shahin et al., 2010), Antoine found that oscillatory activity evoked by musical sounds follows a distinctive developmental course.  Phase-locking in the upper-beta and gamma ranges matured later than in lower frequencies and was stronger for music sounds than for pure tones, likely reflecting the maturation of neural networks that code for spectral complexity.  

Shahin AJ, Trainor LJ, Roberts LE, Backer CC, Miller, LM (2010) Development of auditory phase-locked activity for music sounds J. Neurophysiology 103:218-229. 

Shahin AJ, Roberts LE, Chau W, Trainor LJ, and Miller LM (2008). Music training leads to the development of timbre-specific gamma band activity. Neuroimage 41:113-122