: Proactive and reactive brain activities usually refer to processes occurring in anticipation or in response to perceptual and/or cognitive events. Previous studies found that, in auditory tasks, musical expertise improves performance mainly at the reactive stage of processing. In the present work, we aimed at acknowledging the effects of musical practice on proactive brain activities as a result of neuroplasticity processes occurring at the level of anticipatory motor/cognitive functions. Accordingly, performance and electroencephalographic recordings were compared between professional musicians and non-musicians during an auditory go/no-go task. Both proactive (pre-stimulus) and reactive (post-stimulus) event-related potentials (ERPs) were analyzed. Behavioral findings showed improved performance in musicians compared to non-musicians in terms of accuracy. For what concerns electrophysiological results, different ERP patterns of activity both before and after the presentation of the auditory stimulus emerged between groups. Specifically, musicians showed increased proactive cognitive activity in prefrontal scalp areas, previously localized in the prefrontal cortex, and reduced anticipatory excitability in frontal scalp areas, previously localized in the associative auditory cortices (reflected by the pN and aP components, respectively). In the reactive stage of processing (i.e., following stimulus presentation), musicians showed enhanced early (N1) and late (P3) components, in line with longstanding literature of enhanced auditory processing in this group. Crucially, we also found a significant correlation between the N1 component and years of musical practice. We interpreted these findings in terms of neural plasticity processes resulting from musical training, which lead musicians to high efficiency in auditory sensorial anticipation and more intense cognitive control and sound analysis.

Brain Plasticity Induced by Musical Expertise on Proactive and Reactive Cognitive Functions

Bianco, Valentina;
2022-01-01

Abstract

: Proactive and reactive brain activities usually refer to processes occurring in anticipation or in response to perceptual and/or cognitive events. Previous studies found that, in auditory tasks, musical expertise improves performance mainly at the reactive stage of processing. In the present work, we aimed at acknowledging the effects of musical practice on proactive brain activities as a result of neuroplasticity processes occurring at the level of anticipatory motor/cognitive functions. Accordingly, performance and electroencephalographic recordings were compared between professional musicians and non-musicians during an auditory go/no-go task. Both proactive (pre-stimulus) and reactive (post-stimulus) event-related potentials (ERPs) were analyzed. Behavioral findings showed improved performance in musicians compared to non-musicians in terms of accuracy. For what concerns electrophysiological results, different ERP patterns of activity both before and after the presentation of the auditory stimulus emerged between groups. Specifically, musicians showed increased proactive cognitive activity in prefrontal scalp areas, previously localized in the prefrontal cortex, and reduced anticipatory excitability in frontal scalp areas, previously localized in the associative auditory cortices (reflected by the pN and aP components, respectively). In the reactive stage of processing (i.e., following stimulus presentation), musicians showed enhanced early (N1) and late (P3) components, in line with longstanding literature of enhanced auditory processing in this group. Crucially, we also found a significant correlation between the N1 component and years of musical practice. We interpreted these findings in terms of neural plasticity processes resulting from musical training, which lead musicians to high efficiency in auditory sensorial anticipation and more intense cognitive control and sound analysis.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11571/1498126
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 3
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact