Neural substrates of spontaneous musical performance: an fMRI study of jazz improvisation

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Neural substrates of spontaneous musical performance: an fMRI study of jazz improvisation
Authors: Charles J. Limb, Allen R. Braun
Citation: PLOS ONE 3 (2): e1679. 2008
Database(s): PubMed (PMID/18301756)
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0001679.
Link(s): http://ts-si.org/files/journal.pone.0001679.pdf
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Neural substrates of spontaneous musical performance: an fMRI study of jazz improvisation reports a functional magnetic resonance imaging study on spontaneous musical performance.

Contents

[edit] Abstract from the Open Access paper

To investigate the neural substrates that underlie spontaneous musical performance, we examined improvisation in professional jazz pianists using functional MRI. By employing two paradigms that differed widely in musical complexity, we found that improvisation (compared to production of over-learned musical sequences) was consistently characterized by a dissociated pattern of activity in the prefrontal cortex: extensive deactivation of dorsolateral prefrontal and lateral orbital regions with focal activation of the medial prefrontal (frontal polar) cortex. Such a pattern may reflect a combination of psychological processes required for spontaneous improvisation, in which internally motivated, stimulus-independent behaviors unfold in the absence of central processes that typically mediate self-monitoring and conscious volitional control of ongoing performance. Changes in prefrontal activity during improvisation were accompanied by widespread activation of neocortical sensorimotor areas (that mediate the organization and execution of musical performance) as well as deactivation of limbic structures (that regulate motivation and emotional tone). This distributed neural pattern may provide a cognitive context that enables the emergence of spontaneous creative activity.

[edit] Results

The brain scans were analyzed with SPM99.

[edit] Improvisation

Table 3 with 31 coordinates [1]

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1 Left frontal operculum-p, triangularis 45 -51 33 3 6.51 Brede Database Brede Wiki NeuroSynth SumsDB Not available
2 Left frontal operculum-p. opercularis 44 -52 8 17 11.42 Brede Database Brede Wiki NeuroSynth SumsDB Not available
3 Left dorsal lateral premotor cortex 4/6 -54 0 30 16.54 Brede Database Brede Wiki NeuroSynth SumsDB Not available
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[edit] Deactivation during improvisation

[2]

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[edit] Critique

  1. Only 6 subjects were scanned
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