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The plasticity of the superior longitudinal fasciculus as a function of musical expertise: a diffusion tensor imaging study.

Oechslin MS, Imfeld A, Loenneker T, Meyer M, Jäncke L - Front Hum Neurosci (2010)

Bottom Line: Using DTI, we analysed the fractional anisotropy (FA) of the superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF), which is considered the most primary pathway for processing and production of speech and music.In association with different levels of musical expertise, we found that AP is characterized by a greater left than right asymmetry of FA in core fibres of the SLF.We therefore conclude that the SLF architecture in AP musicians is related to AP acuity.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Neuropsychology, Division of Psychology, University of Zurich Zurich, Switzerland.

ABSTRACT
Previous neuroimaging studies have demonstrated that musical expertise leads to functional alterations in language processing. We utilized diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to investigate white matter plasticity in musicians with absolute pitch (AP), relative pitch and non-musicians. Using DTI, we analysed the fractional anisotropy (FA) of the superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF), which is considered the most primary pathway for processing and production of speech and music. In association with different levels of musical expertise, we found that AP is characterized by a greater left than right asymmetry of FA in core fibres of the SLF. A voxel-based analysis revealed three clusters within the left hemisphere SLF that showed significant positive correlations with error rates only for AP-musicians in an AP-test, but not for musicians without AP. We therefore conclude that the SLF architecture in AP musicians is related to AP acuity. In order to reconcile our observations with general aspects of development of fibre bundles, we introduce the Pioneer Axon Thesis, a theoretical approach to formalize axonal arrangements of major white matter pathways.

No MeSH data available.


A coronal (A) and a sagittal (B) view of the probability map of the APs’ left SLF are illustrated (blue). The red cluster represents the overlaid ROI (Figure 3) due to the thresholded probability map (p < 0.05), whereas the golden cluster (see also Figure 5B) represents voxels of FA values (−28, −28, 44) that are significantly correlated (r = 0.758**) with the error rates of APs with respect to the AP-test.
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Figure 7: A coronal (A) and a sagittal (B) view of the probability map of the APs’ left SLF are illustrated (blue). The red cluster represents the overlaid ROI (Figure 3) due to the thresholded probability map (p < 0.05), whereas the golden cluster (see also Figure 5B) represents voxels of FA values (−28, −28, 44) that are significantly correlated (r = 0.758**) with the error rates of APs with respect to the AP-test.

Mentions: We assume therefore that the group-specific lateralization effect (Figure 7, red coloured, core arcuate region) putatively reflects an earlier developmental stage before and during deliberate musical practice (pre-expertise-state). In addition, we identified by multiple regression a distinctive peripheral cluster (Figure 7, golden coloured, superior border arcuate region) which might be associated with plastic changes following later acquired musical expertise and AP. This would be consistent with a DTI study (McGraw et al., 2002) that compared compact white matter (corpus callosum, interne capsule, cerebral peduncle) with non-compact white matter (corona radiata and peripheral white matter). These authors suggested that myelination is initially greater in compact white matter, whereas the change in myelination may be greater in non-compact white matter during early childhood. Moreover, our data lead us to suggest that a specific local anisotropic lateralization, characterizing the early matured compact core of the SLF, underpins the development of AP under favourable environmental conditions, such as an early start to musical training and deliberate practice (Baharloo et al., 1998; Vitouch, 2003).


The plasticity of the superior longitudinal fasciculus as a function of musical expertise: a diffusion tensor imaging study.

Oechslin MS, Imfeld A, Loenneker T, Meyer M, Jäncke L - Front Hum Neurosci (2010)

A coronal (A) and a sagittal (B) view of the probability map of the APs’ left SLF are illustrated (blue). The red cluster represents the overlaid ROI (Figure 3) due to the thresholded probability map (p < 0.05), whereas the golden cluster (see also Figure 5B) represents voxels of FA values (−28, −28, 44) that are significantly correlated (r = 0.758**) with the error rates of APs with respect to the AP-test.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2821183&req=5

Figure 7: A coronal (A) and a sagittal (B) view of the probability map of the APs’ left SLF are illustrated (blue). The red cluster represents the overlaid ROI (Figure 3) due to the thresholded probability map (p < 0.05), whereas the golden cluster (see also Figure 5B) represents voxels of FA values (−28, −28, 44) that are significantly correlated (r = 0.758**) with the error rates of APs with respect to the AP-test.
Mentions: We assume therefore that the group-specific lateralization effect (Figure 7, red coloured, core arcuate region) putatively reflects an earlier developmental stage before and during deliberate musical practice (pre-expertise-state). In addition, we identified by multiple regression a distinctive peripheral cluster (Figure 7, golden coloured, superior border arcuate region) which might be associated with plastic changes following later acquired musical expertise and AP. This would be consistent with a DTI study (McGraw et al., 2002) that compared compact white matter (corpus callosum, interne capsule, cerebral peduncle) with non-compact white matter (corona radiata and peripheral white matter). These authors suggested that myelination is initially greater in compact white matter, whereas the change in myelination may be greater in non-compact white matter during early childhood. Moreover, our data lead us to suggest that a specific local anisotropic lateralization, characterizing the early matured compact core of the SLF, underpins the development of AP under favourable environmental conditions, such as an early start to musical training and deliberate practice (Baharloo et al., 1998; Vitouch, 2003).

Bottom Line: Using DTI, we analysed the fractional anisotropy (FA) of the superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF), which is considered the most primary pathway for processing and production of speech and music.In association with different levels of musical expertise, we found that AP is characterized by a greater left than right asymmetry of FA in core fibres of the SLF.We therefore conclude that the SLF architecture in AP musicians is related to AP acuity.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Neuropsychology, Division of Psychology, University of Zurich Zurich, Switzerland.

ABSTRACT
Previous neuroimaging studies have demonstrated that musical expertise leads to functional alterations in language processing. We utilized diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to investigate white matter plasticity in musicians with absolute pitch (AP), relative pitch and non-musicians. Using DTI, we analysed the fractional anisotropy (FA) of the superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF), which is considered the most primary pathway for processing and production of speech and music. In association with different levels of musical expertise, we found that AP is characterized by a greater left than right asymmetry of FA in core fibres of the SLF. A voxel-based analysis revealed three clusters within the left hemisphere SLF that showed significant positive correlations with error rates only for AP-musicians in an AP-test, but not for musicians without AP. We therefore conclude that the SLF architecture in AP musicians is related to AP acuity. In order to reconcile our observations with general aspects of development of fibre bundles, we introduce the Pioneer Axon Thesis, a theoretical approach to formalize axonal arrangements of major white matter pathways.

No MeSH data available.