Increased Corpus Callosum Size in Musicians

Neuropsychologia. 1995 Aug;33(8):1047-55. doi: 10.1016/0028-3932(95)00045-5.

Abstract

Using in-vivo magnetic resonance morphometry it was investigated whether the midsagittal area of the corpus callosum (CC) would differ between 30 professional musicians and 30 age-, sex- and handedness-matched controls. Our analyses revealed that the anterior half of the CC was significantly larger in musicians. This difference was due to the larger anterior CC in the subgroup of musicians who had begun musical training before the age of 7. Since anatomic studies have provided evidence for a positive correlation between midsagittal callosal size and the number of fibers crossing through the CC, these data indicate a difference in interhemispheric communication and possibly in hemispheric (a)symmetry of sensorimotor areas. Our results are also compatible with plastic changes of components of the CC during a maturation period within the first decade of human life, similar to those observed in animal studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Corpus Callosum / anatomy & histology*
  • Dominance, Cerebral / physiology
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality / physiology
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Motor Cortex / anatomy & histology
  • Motor Skills / physiology
  • Music*
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology
  • Reference Values