Neural correlates underlying musical semantic memory

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2009 Jul:1169:278-81. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2009.04784.x.


Numerous functional imaging studies have examined the neural basis of semantic memory mainly using verbal and visuospatial materials. Musical material also allows an original way to explore semantic memory processes. We used PET imaging to determine the neural substrates that underlie musical semantic memory using different tasks and stimuli. The results of three PET studies revealed a greater involvement of the anterior part of the temporal lobe. Concerning clinical observations and our neuroimaging data, the musical lexicon (and most widely musical semantic memory) appears to be sustained by a temporo-prefrontal cerebral network involving right and left cerebral regions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory*
  • Music*
  • Positron-Emission Tomography
  • Semantics*
  • Temporal Lobe / physiology*
  • Young Adult