Eckart Altenmüller

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To investigate cortical auditory and motor coupling in professional musicians, we compared the functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) activity of seven pianists to seven non-musicians utilizing a passive task paradigm established in a previous learning study. The tasks involved either passively listening to short piano melodies or pressing keys on a(More)
Studies of experience-driven neuroplasticity at the behavioural, ensemble, cellular and molecular levels have shown that the structure and significance of the eliciting stimulus can determine the neural changes that result. Studying such effects in humans is difficult, but professional musicians represent an ideal model in which to investigate plastic(More)
Performing music requires fast auditory and motor processing. Regarding professional musicians, recent brain imaging studies have demonstrated that auditory stimulation produces a co-activation of motor areas, whereas silent tapping of musical phrases evokes a co-activation in auditory regions. Whether this is obtained via a specific cerebral relay station(More)
Audiovisual perception and imitation are essential for musical learning and skill acquisition. We compared professional pianists to musically naive controls with fMRI while observing piano playing finger-hand movements and serial finger-thumb opposition movements both with and without synchronous piano sound. Pianists showed stronger activations within a(More)
In order to investigate the neurobiological mechanisms accompanying emotional valence judgements during listening to complex auditory stimuli, cortical direct current (dc)-electroencephalography (EEG) activation patterns were recorded from 16 right-handed students. Students listened to 160 short sequences taken from the repertoires of jazz, rock-pop,(More)
Focal hand dystonia involves a loss of motor control of one or more digits; it is associated with the repetitive, synchronous movements of the digits made by musicians over periods of many years. Magnetic source imaging revealed that there is a smaller distance (fusion) between the representations of the digits in somatosensory cortex for the affected hand(More)
Learning a musical piece requires the development of a strong linkage between sensory and motor representations. Audition plays a central role and a tight cortical auditory-motor corepresentation is a characteristic feature of music processing. Recent works have indicated the establishment of a functional connection between auditory and motor cortices(More)
Perceptual musical functions were investigated in patients suffering from unilateral cerebrovascular cortical lesions. Using MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) technique, a standardized short test battery was established that covers local (analytical) as well as global perceptual mechanisms. These represent the principal cognitive strategies in(More)
Music performance is an extremely rapid process with low incidence of errors even at the fast rates of production required. This is possible only due to the fast functioning of the self-monitoring system. Surprisingly, no specific data about error monitoring have been published in the music domain. Consequently, the present study investigated the(More)
An important basis of skilled human behaviour is the appropriate retrieval of acquired and memorized motor programmes ('motor memory traces'). Appropriate retrieval is warranted if motor programmes are only activated if necessary and are, probably more often, inhibited if required by the context of a given situation. It is unknown how this type of(More)