Poster D106, Monday, March 27, 8:00 – 10:00 am, Pacific Concourse
Increased Structural and Functional Connectivity in Jazz Improvising Musicians
Tima Zeng1, Emily Przysinda1, Psyche Loui1; 1Wesleyan University
The process of creativity entails the production of novel and original work appropriate in certain domains. One specific domain of creativity is jazz improvisation, which requires musicians to produce original and novel music in real time. Previous studies have found positive associations between behavioral performance on creativity tasks and white matter integrity in mesial structures such as corpus callosum, and lateral structures such as superior longitudinal fasciculus. We hypothesize that the ability to improvise is facilitated by increased structural and functional connectivity between mesial and lateral structures. We test this hypothesis by comparing diffusion tensor imaging and resting state fMRI of jazz improvising musicians to musician and non-musician control groups. DTI analyses include TBSS and probabilistic tractography of specific white matter pathways of interest. Compared to control group, jazz musicians have significantly higher FA in the anterior cingulate and corpus callosum (TBSS, p < .05 TFCE-corrected), and significantly higher volume and mean FA of arcuate fasciculus and pathways between left inferior frontal gyrus and corpus callosum (probabilistic tractography, p < .05). Resting state fMRI data show significantly more overlap among jazz musicians between regions that are functionally correlated with default mode network and language network areas (p < .05, voxel-corrected). Results support our hypothesis by showing enhanced structural and functional connectivity between mesial default mode areas and lateral language areas in jazz improvising musicians. This interplay may enable spontaneous creative behavior, such as in conversation.
Topic Area: PERCEPTION & ACTION: Audition