Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 25 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Musical improvisation refers to spontaneous generation of novel musical compositions in the moment of performance. The neural correlates of musical improvisation have been studied using functional brain imaging studies (fMRI, PET) as well as electrophysiologic techniques (EEG, tDCS). These studies reveal a broad network of brain regions recruited during musical improvisation. These regions participate in domain-general processes such as attention and executive control; rule-based motor sequence generation, selection, timing, and execution; sensorimotor integration; multimodal sensation; emotional processing; and interpersonal communication. Improvisational expertise appears to modulate how attentional networks are recruited during improvisation, and also enhances functional connections between motivational, sensory, limbic, and motor regions. Understanding the neural correlates of musical improvisation provides broader insights into the cognitive basis of creativity.

Keywords: music, improvisation, creativity, functional MRI, attention

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.