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Poster C75

Brain-behavior associations of cognitive skills and cortical structures in developing populations influenced by musical experience

Poster Session C - Sunday, April 14, 2024, 5:00 – 7:00 pm EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Ms. Hilda F. Parra1,2 (, Dr. Timothy T. Brown1, Dr. John R. Iversen1,3; 1University of California San Diego, 2San Diego State University, 3McMaster University

The cognitive benefits associated with learning to play an instrument include enhanced skills related to language, executive functioning, and musical processing [2, 1, 3, 4]. Furthermore, cross-sectional studies have also noted structural changes in musicians’ brains along the cerebellum, temporal, parietal and frontal regions [5]. However, longitudinal studies can further explore the trajectories of potential associations between structural brain changes and performance of cognitive skills. The current study is a follow-up to a study that examined performance-based differences and structural differences exclusively in groups of child participants. In the current study, behavioral and structural data from the Pediatric Longitudinal Imaging Neurocognition and Genetics study (PLING), (n = 68, ages: 5-12 years) was collected and analyzed. The goal is to analyze the changes in brain-behavior associations of cognitive skills and cortical structures in developing populations during three years. A subgroup of participants learned to play an instrument as part of the study on Studying the Influence Music Practice Has On Neurodevelopment in Youth (SIMPHONY), (n = 23, ages: 5-12 years). Preliminary results demonstrate higher cortical volume levels of the left Cerebellum associated with a higher performance in language measures of phonological awareness, reading accuracy and syntactic processing in participants with a musical background. The pattern then inverses around the third time point. The current conclusion is that participants without a musical background appear to experience a “catching-up” growth during the third time point. Ongoing analyses will test additional associations in the temporal, parietal, and frontal regions.

Topic Area: METHODS: Neuroimaging


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