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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2019 Jun 11;116(24):12103-12108. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1817536116. Epub 2019 May 28.

Music in premature infants enhances high-level cognitive brain networks.

Author information

1
Division of Development and Growth, Department of Pediatrics, University Hospital of Geneva, 1205 Geneva, Switzerland.
2
Neuroscience of Emotion and Affective Dynamics Lab, Department of Psychology and Educational Sciences, University of Geneva, 1205 Geneva, Switzerland.
3
Institute of Mathematics, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland.
4
Swiss Center for Affective Sciences, University of Geneva, 1205 Geneva, Switzerland.
5
Department of Radiology and Medical Informatics, University of Geneva, 1205 Geneva, Switzerland.
6
Institute of Bioengineering, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, 1205 Lausanne, Switzerland.
7
Division of Development and Growth, Department of Pediatrics, University Hospital of Geneva, 1205 Geneva, Switzerland; petra.huppi@unige.ch.

Abstract

Neonatal intensive care units are willing to apply environmental enrichment via music for preterm newborns. However, no evidence of an effect of music on preterm brain development has been reported to date. Using resting-state fMRI, we characterized a circuitry of interest consisting of three network modules interconnected by the salience network that displays reduced network coupling in preterm compared with full-term newborns. Interestingly, preterm infants exposed to music in the neonatal intensive care units have significantly increased coupling between brain networks previously shown to be decreased in premature infants: the salience network with the superior frontal, auditory, and sensorimotor networks, and the salience network with the thalamus and precuneus networks. Therefore, music exposure leads to functional brain architectures that are more similar to those of full-term newborns, providing evidence for a beneficial effect of music on the preterm brain.

KEYWORDS:

brain function; music intervention; preterm newborns; resting-state fMRI; salience network

PMID:
31138687
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.1817536116
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Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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