Symposium: MMN, music, and life span
Wednesday, Sep 9, 2015
Hörsaal 3

The specialists’ brain: the advantage of using passive oddball paradigms as a window into auditory processing and neurocognition

Stefan Elmer

Neuropsychology, University of zurich, Zurich, Switzerland

Professional musicians can serve as a suitable model for understanding how experiential and maturational/degenerative processes interact across lifespan by influencing perceptual and cognitive functions. However, since musical training is known to conjunctively affect bottom-up and top-down processes and both mechanisms are tightly coupled, often it results difficult to disentangle mutual reciprocal influences. In the first part of my talk I will specifically address advantages and disadvantages of using passive oddball paradigms for evaluating transfer effects from musical training to the processing of spectral and temporal speech information, a faculty that often deteriorates with age. In the second part, I will present recent data pointing to putative interrelationships between MMN responses and functional connectivity among bilateral auditory-related brain regions as well as brainstem activity.