Introduction: Inspired by neurologist and author Oliver Sacks who wrote, Awakening, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Musciophilia.Musicophilia is behind the topic of my presentation today. First to get you in the mood: A little piece The Music is Chopin Mazurka Op17 #4 played by Horowitz “This is intimate now… shhhhhh!”http://youtu.be/vmLvpJySb50
Refer page 734 of text for better illustration: Sensory input (red arrows): The theory is that certain cells are activated when you sense an object (or stimulus such as sound or touch), when the stimulus is removed or reduced, activity or excitation continues (middle figure/black arrows) and Hebbian modification strengthens the activation with inter-assembly connections (blue arrows). Cell assembly is basically the mechanism behind synaptic plasticity. According to Hebbs, any cells or group of cell that are repeatedly activated at the same time will become associated so that activity in one will facilitate activity in the other.What actually happens is that a neuron will develop a synaptic knob or an existing synaptic knob of a neuron will grow larger and connect to the soma (body) of another neuron.Interestingly, the lab experiments with the AsplaysiaCalifornica provided and demonstrated the mechanism of automated processes and cell assemblies. So now we go from a simple organism of a sea slug to a more complex ones call humans.The discovery of this process call “Hebbian learning” was key to learning about learning and memory. So what does this all have to do with music?
Get to the point Karen! Play Video : http://youtu.be/vmLvpJySb50 Fixed action patterns are learned and can be perfected through continue stimulation. Simple actions such as walking, running, riding a bike, speaking a language and more complex actions such as playing an instrument. Llinas also suggests interactions between the cortex and thalmus and perceives the imagining is no less than doing. Ref: I of the Vortex -
Get to the point Karen! Play Video : http://youtu.be/vmLvpJySb50 Brain imaging show how merely imagining a piece of music stimulates the auditory and motor cortex in almost the same way as listening to it.
Get to the point Karen! Play Video : http://youtu.be/vmLvpJySb50
The Evidence:Citation:A 2003 German study:Playing piano in the mind—an fMRI study on music imagery and performance in pianistsAt the Department of Neurology, University Hospital Aachen, Pauwelsstrasse 30, D-52074 Aachen, GermanybDepartment of Neuroradiology, University Hospital Aachen, 52057 Aachen, GermanyLeft : The cortical activations found for music performance minus baseline ( p < 0.05, corrected within 303030 mm around coordinates found in a pilotstudy). The activations comprise the primary sensorimotor cortex in the left hemisphere and the premotor cortex and the cerebellum bilaterally, in addition to aparietal network of precuneus [Shown in next slide] and BA 40.Right: The cortical activations found for music imagery minus baseline ( p < 0.05, corrected within 303030 mm around coordinates found in a pilotstudy). With the exception of the left primary sensorimotor area and the ipsilateral cerebellum, the activated network is essentially the same as in the musicperformance task. This emphasizes the function of the bilateral fronto-parietal network, together with the occipital cortex in the planning of visuomotortransformation and musical processing. fMRI activations are projected on a segmented SPM-template.“Imagery of music performance activated the same network with the exception of the primary sensorimotor area in the left hemisphere and the right cerebellum. This difference between the two experimental conditions is in accordance with prior studies which have investigated the execution and imagery of motor tasks in non-musicians [4,16,22].”
This is the part of the brain (Precunei pl.) that “lit up” during both the imagery and performance tasks of the experiment. The precuneus is involved in the process of acquisition and retrieval of action sequences whereas the intraparietalsulcus (IPS) mediate eye-hand movement i.e., visual-spatial processing. Notice the two regions of the brain involved are close together. Interestingly, the cerebellum was activated during both tasks. Conclusion of study: These areas precuneus and intraparietalsulcus (IPS) work together during imagery and performance. However, the primary sensorimotor cortex was more active during the musical performance task.
Get to the point Karen! Oliver Sacks is a neuroscientist and author of Musicophilia.
“Studies of experience-driven neuroplasticityat the behavioural, ensemble, cellular and molecular levels have shown that the structure and significance of the eliciting stimulus can determine the neural changes that result. Studying such effects in humans is difficult, but professional musicians represent an ideal model in which to investigate plastic changes in the human brain. There are two advantages to studying plasticity in musicians: the complexity of the eliciting stimulus — music — and the extent of their exposure to this stimulus. Here, we focus on the functional and anatomical differences that have been detected in musicians by modern neuroimaging methods.” Nature Reviews Neuroscience 3, 473-478 (June 2002)
Sacks mentions the study in Musicophillia about the study by Alvaro Pascual-Leone a neuroscientist from Harvard University. Measurements of blood flow have shown increased flow to the basal ganglia and the cerebellum as the cerebral cortex – not with just with physical practice but mental practice as well. (Sacks 101).
Aphasia: Tapping into other cortical areas of the brain that haven’t been destroyed. Sacks talks about a 67 year old man that was aphasic for 18 months who received “melodic intonation therapy” (singing phrases). He went from simple grunts to short meaningful conversations within six weeks. (Sacks 239).Parkinson’s disease: The right music at the right tempo helps Parkinson’s patients to move more fluidly. Even imagining musicPTSD: Music has an affect on pulse rate and blood-pressure etc. Survivors of Encephalitis lethargica; the sleeping sickness that was epidemic after WWI. The disease left patients in a frozen trance. However, they could respond to certain stimuli like music.
Donald Hebbs& Cell Assembly<br />Cells that wire together will fire together.<br />Persistent activation of a cell assembly results in neuro-connectivity called Engrams<br />Illustration: Nature Reviews – Neuroscience 2005<br />
Fixed Action Patterns…<br />“Automatic brain modules that make complex movements; well defined motor patterns, (walking, swallowing)” I of the Vortex - RudolfoLlinás<br />Can be learned<br />Can be innate<br />Can be perfected<br />
Playing music in your mind…<br />Sacks discusses how he would “only glance at a score or think of a particular mazurka” and then “I not only would “hear” the music, but I “see” my hands on the keyboard… and “feel” them playing the piece…” (Sacks 34) <br />
Playing the piano in your mind…<br />A 2004 study showed that the same areas of the brain where activated when subjects imagined playing the piano as when actually playing the piano.<br />
fMRIs of musical performance vs Imagery<br />The cortical activations found for music performance<br />The cortical activations found for musical imagery<br />
Precuneus<br />“Region of the brain that correlates positively with learning specific reactions to visual stimuli…” <br />Cognitive Brain Research 19 (2004) 219-228<br />
So what does this all have to do with music?<br />Sacks discusses how musicians readapt after suffering lesions in the brain or other trauma. <br />
Musicians: A model of neuroplasticity<br />The complexity of the stimulus (music)<br />The length of exposure to the stimulus<br />Nature Reviews Neuroscience 3, 473-478 (June 2002) <br />
Musicians: A model of neuroplasticity<br />Five finger piano exercises have demonstrated that the motor cortex shows changes within minutes of practicing techniques…<br />Alvaro Pascual-Leone at Harvard<br />
Music as therapy<br />“Every disease is a musical problem, every cure is a musical solution” ~ Novalis<br />