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Table representation of search results timeline featuring number of search results per year.

Year Number of Results
1988 1
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1992 4
1994 1
1995 5
1996 1
1997 3
1998 3
1999 2
2000 3
2001 11
2002 10
2003 29
2004 13
2005 37
2006 24
2007 22
2008 17
2009 43
2010 43
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2012 50
2013 54
2014 66
2015 52
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2024 15

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. 2024 Apr 1;34(4):bhae155.
doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhae155.

Linguistic modulation of the neural encoding of phonemes

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Linguistic modulation of the neural encoding of phonemes

Seung-Goo Kim et al. Cereb Cortex. .

Abstract

Speech comprehension entails the neural mapping of the acoustic speech signal onto learned linguistic units. This acousto-linguistic transformation is bi-directional, whereby higher-level linguistic processes (e.g. semantics) modulate the acoustic analysis of individual linguistic units. Here, we investigated the cortical topography and linguistic modulation of the most fundamental linguistic unit, the phoneme. We presented natural speech and "phoneme quilts" (pseudo-randomly shuffled phonemes) in either a familiar (English) or unfamiliar (Korean) language to native English speakers while recording functional magnetic resonance imaging. This allowed us to dissociate the contribution of acoustic vs. linguistic processes toward phoneme analysis. We show that (i) the acoustic analysis of phonemes is modulated by linguistic analysis and (ii) that for this modulation, both of acoustic and phonetic information need to be incorporated. These results suggest that the linguistic modulation of cortical sensitivity to phoneme classes minimizes prediction error during natural speech perception, thereby aiding speech comprehension in challenging listening situations.

Keywords: acoustic analysis; functional MRI; human auditory cortex; linguistic analysis; speech perception.

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. 2024 Apr 1;34(4):bhae177.
doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhae177.

Neural correlates of musical familiarity: a functional magnetic resonance study

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Neural correlates of musical familiarity: a functional magnetic resonance study

Qiang Li et al. Cereb Cortex. .

Abstract

Existing neuroimaging studies on neural correlates of musical familiarity often employ a familiar vs. unfamiliar contrast analysis. This singular analytical approach reveals associations between explicit musical memory and musical familiarity. However, is the neural activity associated with musical familiarity solely related to explicit musical memory, or could it also be related to implicit musical memory? To address this, we presented 130 song excerpts of varying familiarity to 21 participants. While acquiring their brain activity using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we asked the participants to rate the familiarity of each song on a five-point scale. To comprehensively analyze the neural correlates of musical familiarity, we examined it from four perspectives: the intensity of local neural activity, patterns of local neural activity, global neural activity patterns, and functional connectivity. The results from these four approaches were consistent and revealed that musical familiarity is related to the activity of both explicit and implicit musical memory networks. Our findings suggest that: (1) musical familiarity is also associated with implicit musical memory, and (2) there is a cooperative and competitive interaction between the two types of musical memory in the perception of music.

Keywords: explicit and implicit musical memory; fMRI; music perception; musical familiarity.

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. 2024 May:174:1-18.
doi: 10.1016/j.cortex.2024.02.011. Epub 2024 Feb 28.

Effects of absolute pitch on brain activation and functional connectivity during hearing-in-noise perception

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Effects of absolute pitch on brain activation and functional connectivity during hearing-in-noise perception

Hung-Chen Tseng et al. Cortex. 2024 May.

Abstract

Hearing-in-noise (HIN) ability is crucial in speech and music communication. Recent evidence suggests that absolute pitch (AP), the ability to identify isolated musical notes, is associated with HIN benefits. A theoretical account postulates a link between AP ability and neural network indices of segregation. However, how AP ability modulates the brain activation and functional connectivity underlying HIN perception remains unclear. Here we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to contrast brain responses among a sample (n = 45) comprising 15 AP musicians, 15 non-AP musicians, and 15 non-musicians in perceiving Mandarin speech and melody targets under varying signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs: No-Noise, 0, -9 dB). Results reveal that AP musicians exhibited increased activation in auditory and superior frontal regions across both HIN domains (music and speech), irrespective of noise levels. Notably, substantially higher sensorimotor activation was found in AP musicians when the target was music compared to speech. Furthermore, we examined AP effects on neural connectivity using psychophysiological interaction analysis with the auditory cortex as the seed region. AP musicians showed decreased functional connectivity with the sensorimotor and middle frontal gyrus compared to non-AP musicians. Crucially, AP differentially affected connectivity with parietal and frontal brain regions depending on the HIN domain being music or speech. These findings suggest that AP plays a critical role in HIN perception, manifested by increased activation and functional independence between auditory and sensorimotor regions for perceiving music and speech streams.

Keywords: Absolute pitch; Auditory cortex; Functional connectivity; Music in noise; Speech in noise.

Conflict of interest statement

Declaration of competing interest The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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. 2024 May;67(4):101825.
doi: 10.1016/j.rehab.2024.101825. Epub 2024 Mar 12.

Listening to classical music influences brain connectivity in post-stroke aphasia: A pilot study

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Listening to classical music influences brain connectivity in post-stroke aphasia: A pilot study

Maryane Chea et al. Ann Phys Rehabil Med. 2024 May.
No abstract available

Keywords: Aphasia; Brain connectivity; Music-assisted rehabilitation; Stroke rehabilitation.

Conflict of interest statement

Declaration of competing interest None.

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. 2024 Mar 6;14(1):5501.
doi: 10.1038/s41598-024-56139-6.

Spectrotemporal cues and attention jointly modulate fMRI network topology for sentence and melody perception

Affiliations

Spectrotemporal cues and attention jointly modulate fMRI network topology for sentence and melody perception

Felix Haiduk et al. Sci Rep. .

Abstract

Speech and music are two fundamental modes of human communication. Lateralisation of key processes underlying their perception has been related both to the distinct sensitivity to low-level spectrotemporal acoustic features and to top-down attention. However, the interplay between bottom-up and top-down processes needs to be clarified. In the present study, we investigated the contribution of acoustics and attention to melodies or sentences to lateralisation in fMRI functional network topology. We used sung speech stimuli selectively filtered in temporal or spectral modulation domains with crossed and balanced verbal and melodic content. Perception of speech decreased with degradation of temporal information, whereas perception of melodies decreased with spectral degradation. Applying graph theoretical metrics on fMRI connectivity matrices, we found that local clustering, reflecting functional specialisation, linearly increased when spectral or temporal cues crucial for the task goal were incrementally degraded. These effects occurred in a bilateral fronto-temporo-parietal network for processing temporally degraded sentences and in right auditory regions for processing spectrally degraded melodies. In contrast, global topology remained stable across conditions. These findings suggest that lateralisation for speech and music partially depends on an interplay of acoustic cues and task goals under increased attentional demands.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no competing interests.

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. 2024 Mar 5;121(10):e2316306121.
doi: 10.1073/pnas.2316306121. Epub 2024 Feb 26.

Live music stimulates the affective brain and emotionally entrains listeners in real time

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Live music stimulates the affective brain and emotionally entrains listeners in real time

Wiebke Trost et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. .

Abstract

Music is powerful in conveying emotions and triggering affective brain mechanisms. Affective brain responses in previous studies were however rather inconsistent, potentially because of the non-adaptive nature of recorded music used so far. Live music instead can be dynamic and adaptive and is often modulated in response to audience feedback to maximize emotional responses in listeners. Here, we introduce a setup for studying emotional responses to live music in a closed-loop neurofeedback setup. This setup linked live performances by musicians to neural processing in listeners, with listeners' amygdala activity was displayed to musicians in real time. Brain activity was measured using functional MRI, and especially amygdala activity was quantified in real time for the neurofeedback signal. Live pleasant and unpleasant piano music performed in response to amygdala neurofeedback from listeners was acoustically very different from comparable recorded music and elicited significantly higher and more consistent amygdala activity. Higher activity was also found in a broader neural network for emotion processing during live compared to recorded music. This finding included observations of the predominance for aversive coding in the ventral striatum while listening to unpleasant music, and involvement of the thalamic pulvinar nucleus, presumably for regulating attentional and cortical flow mechanisms. Live music also stimulated a dense functional neural network with the amygdala as a central node influencing other brain systems. Finally, only live music showed a strong and positive coupling between features of the musical performance and brain activity in listeners pointing to real-time and dynamic entrainment processes.

Keywords: amygdala; emotion; limbic; music; neurofeedback.

Conflict of interest statement

Competing interests statement:The authors declare no competing interest.

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[Preprint]. 2024 Feb 14:2024.02.13.580192.
doi: 10.1101/2024.02.13.580192.

Monkey dorsolateral prefrontal cortex shows anatomically and functionally specific responses to sequential but not temporal or image changes

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Monkey dorsolateral prefrontal cortex shows anatomically and functionally specific responses to sequential but not temporal or image changes

Nadira Yusif Rodriguez et al. bioRxiv. .

Abstract

Sequential information permeates our daily lives, such as when listening to music. These sequences are potentially abstract in that they do not depend on the exact identity of the stimuli (pitch of the notes), but on the rule that they follow (interval between them). Previously, we showed that a subregion of monkey lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC), area 46, responds to abstract visual sequences in a manner that parallels human responses. However, area 46 has several mapped subregions and abstract sequences require of multiple stimulus features (such as stimulus and time), leaving open questions as to the specificity of responses in the LPFC. To determine the anatomical and functional specificity of abstract visual sequence responses within area 46 subregions, we used awake functional magnetic resonance imaging in three male macaque monkeys during two no-report visual tasks. One task presented images in an abstract visual sequence; the other used the same timing properties and image variation, but no sequential information. We found, using subdivisions from a multimodal parcellation of area 46, that responses to abstract visual sequences were unique to the posterior fundus of area 46, which did not respond to changes in timing or image alone. In contrast, posterior shoulder regions of area 46 showed selectivity to more concrete stimulus changes (i.e., timing and image). These results align with organizational hierarchies observed in monkeys and humans, and suggest that interactions between adjacent LPFC subregions is key scaffolding for complex daily behaviors.

Keywords: abstract sequence; fMRI; nonhuman primate; prefrontal cortex; ramping activation.

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. 2024 Feb;102(2):e25312.
doi: 10.1002/jnr.25312.

Understanding functional brain reorganization for naturalistic piano playing in novice pianists

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Understanding functional brain reorganization for naturalistic piano playing in novice pianists

Alicja M Olszewska et al. J Neurosci Res. 2024 Feb.

Abstract

Learning to play the piano is a unique complex task, integrating multiple sensory modalities and higher order cognitive functions. Longitudinal neuroimaging studies on adult novice musicians show training-related functional changes in music perception tasks. The reorganization of brain activity while actually playing an instrument was studied only on a very short time frame of a single fMRI session, and longer interventions have not yet been performed. Thus, our aim was to investigate the dynamic complexity of functional brain reorganization while playing the piano within the first half year of musical training. We scanned 24 novice keyboard learners (female, 18-23 years old) using fMRI while they played increasingly complex musical pieces after 1, 6, 13, and 26 weeks of training. Playing music evoked responses bilaterally in the auditory, inferior frontal, and supplementary motor areas, and the left sensorimotor cortex. The effect of training over time, however, invoked widespread changes encompassing the right sensorimotor cortex, cerebellum, superior parietal cortex, anterior insula and hippocampus, among others. As the training progressed, the activation of these regions decreased while playing music. Post hoc analysis revealed region-specific time-courses for independent auditory and motor regions of interest. These results suggest that while the primary sensory, motor, and frontal regions are associated with playing music, the training decreases the involvement of higher order cognitive control and integrative regions, and basal ganglia. Moreover, training might affect distinct brain regions in different ways, providing evidence in favor of the dynamic nature of brain plasticity.

Keywords: auditory-motor integration; functional neuroplasticity; motor training; musical training; neuromusicology; training-related plasticity.

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. 2024 Apr 10;44(15):e1157232023.
doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1157-23.2023.

Attention-Driven Modulation of Auditory Cortex Activity during Selective Listening in a Multispeaker Setting

Affiliations

Attention-Driven Modulation of Auditory Cortex Activity during Selective Listening in a Multispeaker Setting

Sebastian Puschmann et al. J Neurosci. .

Abstract

Real-world listening settings often consist of multiple concurrent sound streams. To limit perceptual interference during selective listening, the auditory system segregates and filters the relevant sensory input. Previous work provided evidence that the auditory cortex is critically involved in this process and selectively gates attended input toward subsequent processing stages. We studied at which level of auditory cortex processing this filtering of attended information occurs using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and a naturalistic selective listening task. Forty-five human listeners (of either sex) attended to one of two continuous speech streams, presented either concurrently or in isolation. Functional data were analyzed using an inter-subject analysis to assess stimulus-specific components of ongoing auditory cortex activity. Our results suggest that stimulus-related activity in the primary auditory cortex and the adjacent planum temporale are hardly affected by attention, whereas brain responses at higher stages of the auditory cortex processing hierarchy become progressively more selective for the attended input. Consistent with these findings, a complementary analysis of stimulus-driven functional connectivity further demonstrated that information on the to-be-ignored speech stream is shared between the primary auditory cortex and the planum temporale but largely fails to reach higher processing stages. Our findings suggest that the neural processing of ignored speech cannot be effectively suppressed at the level of early cortical processing of acoustic features but is gradually attenuated once the competing speech streams are fully segregated.

Keywords: attention; auditory perception; fMRI; inter-subject analysis; naturalistic neuroimaging.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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. 2024 Mar:172:86-108.
doi: 10.1016/j.cortex.2023.11.019. Epub 2023 Dec 27.

When direction matters: Neural correlates of interlimb coordination of rhythm and beat

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Free article

When direction matters: Neural correlates of interlimb coordination of rhythm and beat

Signe H Mårup et al. Cortex. 2024 Mar.
Free article

Abstract

In a previous experiment, we found evidence for a bodily hierarchy governing interlimb coordination of rhythm and beat, using five effectors: 1) Left foot, 2) Right foot, 3) Left hand, 4) Right hand and 5) Voice. The hierarchy implies that, during simultaneous rhythm and beat performance and using combinations of two of these effectors, executing the task by performing the rhythm with an effector that has a higher number than the beat effector is significantly easier than vice versa. To investigate the neural underpinnings of this proposed bodily hierarchy, we here scanned 46 professional musicians using fMRI as they performed a rhythmic pattern with one effector while keeping the beat with another. The conditions combined the voice and the right hand (V + RH), the right hand and the left hand (RH + LH), and the left hand and the right foot (LH + RF). Each effector combination was performed with and against the bodily hierarchy. Going against the bodily hierarchy increased tapping errors significantly and also increased activity in key brain areas functionally associated with top-down sensorimotor control and bottom-up feedback processing, such as the cerebellum and SMA. Conversely, going with the bodily hierarchy engaged areas functionally associated with the default mode network and regions involved in emotion processing. Theories of general brain function that hold prediction as a key principle, propose that action and perception are governed by the brain's attempt to minimise prediction error at different levels in the brain. Following this viewpoint, our results indicate that going against the hierarchy induces stronger prediction errors, while going with the hierarchy allows for a higher degree of automatization. Our results also support the notion of a bodily hierarchy in motor control that prioritizes certain conductive and supportive tapping roles in specific effector combinations.

Keywords: Music; Prediction models; Rhythm production; Tapping; fMRI.

Conflict of interest statement

Declaration of competing interest None declared.

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