viernes, 8 de octubre de 2010

When Music and Long-Term Memory Interact

When Music and Long-Term Memory Interact: Effects of Musical Expertise on Functional and Structural Plasticity in the Hippocampus

Mathilde Groussard 1, Renaud La Joie 1, Géraldine Rauchs 1, Brigitte Landeau 1, Gaël Chételat 1, Fausto Viader 1,2, Béatrice Desgranges 1, Francis Eustache 1, Hervé Platel 1

1 Inserm-EPHE-Université de Caen/Basse-Normandie, Unité U923, GIP Cyceron, CHU Côte de Nacre, Caen, France, 2 Département de Neurologie, CHU Côte de Nacre, Caen, France

The development of musical skills by musicians results in specific structural and functional modifications in the brain. Surprisingly, no functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study has investigated the impact of musical training on brain function during long-term memory retrieval, a faculty particularly important in music. Thus, using fMRI, we examined for the first time this process during a musical familiarity task (i.e., semantic memory for music). Musical expertise induced supplementary activations in the hippocampus, medial frontal gyrus, and superior temporal areas on both sides, suggesting a constant interaction between episodic and semantic memory during this task in musicians. In addition, a voxel-based morphometry (VBM) investigation was performed within these areas and revealed that gray matter density of the hippocampus was higher in musicians than in nonmusicians. Our data indicate that musical expertise critically modifies long-term memory processes and induces structural and functional plasticity in the hippocampus.

Source: PLoS One [Open Access]

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