Plasticity of the human auditory cortex related to musical training

Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2011 Nov;35(10):2140-54. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2011.06.010. Epub 2011 Jul 6.


During the last decades music neuroscience has become a rapidly growing field within the area of neuroscience. Music is particularly well suited for studying neuronal plasticity in the human brain because musical training is more complex and multimodal than most other daily life activities, and because prospective and professional musicians usually pursue the training with high and long-lasting commitment. Therefore, music has increasingly been used as a tool for the investigation of human cognition and its underlying brain mechanisms. Music relates to many brain functions like perception, action, cognition, emotion, learning and memory and therefore music is an ideal tool to investigate how the human brain is working and how different brain functions interact. Novel findings have been obtained in the field of induced cortical plasticity by musical training. The positive effects, which music in its various forms has in the healthy human brain are not only important in the framework of basic neuroscience, but they also will strongly affect the practices in neuro-rehabilitation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Auditory Cortex / physiology*
  • Auditory Perception / physiology
  • Humans
  • Learning / physiology*
  • Music Therapy / methods
  • Music* / psychology
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology*
  • Tinnitus / physiopathology*
  • Tinnitus / therapy