Altered intrinsic connectivity of the auditory cortex in congenital amusia

J Neurophysiol. 2016 Jul 1;116(1):88-97. doi: 10.1152/jn.00663.2015. Epub 2016 Mar 23.


Congenital amusia, a neurodevelopmental disorder of music perception and production, has been associated with abnormal anatomical and functional connectivity in a right frontotemporal pathway. To investigate whether spontaneous connectivity in brain networks involving the auditory cortex is altered in the amusic brain, we ran a seed-based connectivity analysis, contrasting at-rest functional MRI data of amusic and matched control participants. Our results reveal reduced frontotemporal connectivity in amusia during resting state, as well as an overconnectivity between the auditory cortex and the default mode network (DMN). The findings suggest that the auditory cortex is intrinsically more engaged toward internal processes and less available to external stimuli in amusics compared with controls. Beyond amusia, our findings provide new evidence for the link between cognitive deficits in pathology and abnormalities in the connectivity between sensory areas and the DMN at rest.

Keywords: default mode network; fMRI; frontotemporal network; functional connectivity; tone deafness.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Auditory Cortex / diagnostic imaging*
  • Auditory Cortex / physiopathology*
  • Auditory Perceptual Disorders / diagnostic imaging*
  • Auditory Perceptual Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Brain Mapping
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Neural Pathways / diagnostic imaging
  • Neural Pathways / physiopathology
  • Rest

Supplementary concepts

  • Tune Deafness