Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: A multi-modal investigation of structural and functional neural bases of pitch discrimination in musicians and non-musicians
Author: Alghamdi, Jamaan Salem
ISNI:       0000 0004 2733 5222
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2012
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Musicians represent an ideal model for understanding experience-driven neuroplasticity in the human brain, especially in auditory and motor domains. Musicians exert intensive and durable practice of various multimodal skills (e.g., motor, auditory, visual and memory). It has been reported that certain regions of the adult musicians' brains are structurally larger than non- musicians. Also musicians demonstrate more sensitive pitch discrimination abilities compared to non-musicians because pitch labelling plays an important role in music. Music is made of a highly structured and complex succession of tones that arranged in a specific rhythm and played at specific pitch. In this thesis I aimed to; (1) Explore the influence of musical proficiency on pitch discrimination ability with investigating the laterality pitch discrimination ability and exploring some factors that could affect pitch discrimination ability such as aging, type of musical instrument and duration of musical proficiency. (2) Investigate anatomical plasticity of selected brain structures in musicians with exploring musical proficiency and the instrument type effect on sulcal and gyral topography. (3) Study the correlations between pitch discrimination performance and some cortical features of selected brain structures. (4) Investigate tonotopic mapping in the human auditory cortex using functional magnetic resonance imaging and (fMRI) and magneto encephalography (MEG). (5) Examine the influence of musical proficiency expertise on frequency organization and cortical activation of the human auditory cortex. Different structural methods were implemented to study differences between musicians and non-musicians in some structural features. FMRI and MEG were used to study tonotopic mapping in the human auditory cortex. During pitch discrimination tasks, musicians demonstrated more sensitivity than non-musicians. Musicians also showed significantly larger volume in various brain regions and shape differences in sulcal and gyral anatomy and the right hippocampus. Additionally, there were significant correlations between pitch discrimination performance and different structural measurements. Musicians had stronger BOLD fMRI in the medial and lateral part of the left HG. ANOVA tests of the amplitude of neuromagnetic N100 component showed a group effect of borderline significance. Results clearly show behavioural, structural and functional differences between these two groups. These results indicate that the morphology and neurophysiology of various brain regions and the pitch labelling have an essential role in musical proficiency.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available