Poster F87, Tuesday, March 27, 8:00-10:00 am, Exhibit Hall C
Hearing Creatively: Default Network Selectively Synchronizes to Auditory Cortex in Jazz Improvising Musicians
Alexander Belden1, Tima Zeng1, Emily Przysinda1, Psyche Loui1; 1Wesleyan University
Jazz improvisation offers a model for creative cognition as it involves the real-time creation of a novel, information-rich product. Previous research has shown that when jazz musicians improvise, they recruit medial and dorsolateral prefrontal cortices, which are part of the Default Mode (DMN) and Executive Control (ECN) Networks respectively. Here, we ask whether these task-fMRI findings might arise from intrinsic differences in functional connectivity. We compare resting state fcMRI of ECN and DMN among jazz improvisers, classical musicians, and non-musicians. We seeded regions of interest in the medial prefrontal cortex, within the DMN, and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex from the ECN, and compared the correlation patterns from each ROI across the three subject groups (all results p<0.05 cluster-corrected). We found higher resting state connectivity in jazz improvisers than classical musicians and non-musicians between mPFC and the superior temporal gyrus, including the auditory cortex. In contrast, all musicians showed increased connectivity from left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, a region of the left ECN, to bilateral superior parietal lobule; this was especially higher in classical musicians compared to non-musicians. Results show that long-term training enhances functional connectivity in specific resting state networks. While general musical training is associated with executive control functions, the finding that the Default Mode Network is more synchronized with auditory regions in jazz improvisers is consistent with the hypothesis that real-time musical creativity relies on auditory access to spontaneous thought processes.
Topic Area: PERCEPTION & ACTION: Audition