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Neuroimage. 2006 Oct 1;32(4):1771-81. Epub 2006 Jun 14.

Interactions between auditory and dorsal premotor cortex during synchronization to musical rhythms.

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Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University, Rm. 276, 3801 University St., Montreal, QC, Canada H3A 2B4.


When listening to music, we often spontaneously synchronize our body movements to a rhythm's beat (e.g. tapping our feet). The goals of this study were to determine how features of a rhythm such as metric structure, can facilitate motor responses, and to elucidate the neural correlates of these auditory-motor interactions using fMRI. Five variants of an isochronous rhythm were created by increasing the contrast in sound amplitude between accented and unaccented tones, progressively highlighting the rhythm's metric structure. Subjects tapped in synchrony to these rhythms, and as metric saliency increased across the five levels, louder tones evoked longer tap durations with concomitant increases in the BOLD response at auditory and dorsal premotor cortices. The functional connectivity between these regions was also modulated by the stimulus manipulation. These results show that metric organization, as manipulated via intensity accentuation, modulates motor behavior and neural responses in auditory and dorsal premotor cortex. Auditory-motor interactions may take place at these regions with the dorsal premotor cortex interfacing sensory cues with temporally organized movement.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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