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Thursday, September 06, 2018

Beatboxers' and guitarists' brains react differently to hearing music | Music - Science Daily

The brains of professional beatboxers and guitarists respond to music differently when compared to each other and non-musicians.

"The brains of professional beatboxers and guitarists respond to music differently when compared to each other and non-musicians, finds a new UCL-led study" explains Science Daily.

Photo: Flickr

The study, published in Cerebral Cortex and funded by Wellcome, sheds light on how learning and making music can affect mental processes.

The researchers found that the area of the brain that controls mouth movements was particularly active when beatboxers listened to a previously unheard beatboxing track, while the 'hand area' of the guitarists' brains showed heightened activity when they listened to guitar playing...

The research team found that sensorimotor brain areas, which control movement, were activated in the musicians' brains but not in the non-musicians' brains. This was only true when musicians listened to their own instrument's recordings. The researchers say this suggests these brain areas could be connecting the movements associated with making music, with the music the musicians are hearing.

The research team also noticed increased activity in a brain area typically involved in language tasks with complex audio-visual links such as picture naming or reading. "We've identified a perceptual network which is engaged when you hear an instrument you can play, and which shows how acquiring this expertise has shaped your brain responses. There's already a lot of evidence that music education is good for you -- here's an example of what it does to the brain," said the study's senior author, Professor Sophie Scott (UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience).
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Additional resources
Journal Reference:
  1. Saloni Krishnan, César F Lima, Samuel Evans, Sinead Chen, Stella Guldner, Harry Yeff, Tom Manly, Sophie K Scott. Beatboxers and Guitarists Engage Sensorimotor Regions Selectively When Listening to the Instruments They can Play. Cerebral Cortex, 2018; DOI: 10.1093/cercor/bhy208
Source: Science Daily