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date: 06 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Brain imaging studies have demonstrated that music training can change brain structure, predominantly in the auditor-motor network that underlies music performance. The chapter argues that the observed differences in brain structure between experts and novices, and the changes that occur with training derive from at least four sources: first, pre-existing individual differences that promote certain skills; second, lengthy and consistent training which likely produces structural changes in the brain networks tapped by performance; third, practice during specific periods of development which may result in changes that do not occur at other periods of time; fourth, the rewarding nature of music itself, as well as the reward value of practice which may make music training a particularly effective driver of brain plasticity.

Keywords: brain plasticity, development, auditory-motor integration, music training, expertise, MRI, DTI

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