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Science. 1995 Feb 3;267(5198):699-701.

In vivo evidence of structural brain asymmetry in musicians.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Germany.


Certain human talents, such as musical ability, have been associated with left-right differences in brain structure and function. In vivo magnetic resonance morphometry of the brain in musicians was used to measure the anatomical asymmetry of the planum temporale, a brain area containing auditory association cortex and previously shown to be a marker of structural and functional asymmetry. Musicians with perfect pitch revealed stronger leftward planum temporale asymmetry than nonmusicians or musicians without perfect pitch. The results indicate that outstanding musical ability is associated with increased leftward asymmetry of cortex subserving music-related functions.

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