Symposium: Deviance-detection across modalities
Thursday, Sep 10, 2015
Hörsaal 3

Musical training enhances automatic deviance detection within and across sensory modalities

Evangelos Paraskevopoulos1, Anja Kuchenbuch2, Sibylle Herholz3, Panagiotis Bamidis4, & Christo Pantev5

1Klados Manousos & SIA E.E., Thessaloniki, Greece
2Leibniz Research Center for Working Environment and Human Factors, Dortmund, Germany
3German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), Bonn, Germany
4Laboratory of Medical Physics, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece
5Institute for Biomagnetism and Biosignalanalysis, Muenster, Germany, Muenster, Germany

The meaningful interpretation of the complexity of our environment is based on the human ability to integrate the input of several sensory systems. Musical training provides a valuable model for the study of cortical plasticity of multisensory integration. The present work presents a short review of three recent studies that used magnetoencephalography to investigate cortical plasticity effects on multisensory integration induced by short and long term musical training. These studies identified the neural correlates of audio-visual and audio-tactile incongruency responses, which are not generated due to incongruency of the unisensory physical characteristics of the stimulation, but due to the violation of an abstract multisensory rule that binds the unisensory stimuli. The relation of these abstract multisensory incongruency responses with unisensory mismatches was investigated using an appropriate modification of the multi-featured oddball paradigm. Results of all 3 studies indicate that during the typical Mismatch Negativity (MMN) latency (i.e. 120 – 250 ms), an automatic deviance detection takes place in cortical regions related to multisensory processing that consists of different cortical activation patterns than the corresponding unisensory MMNs. Additionally, the results of all three studies indicate that musical training is related to neuroplastic changes in a network of cortical regions linked with multisensory integration and coordination of different cognitive processes in frontal, temporal and occipital areas.