Neuropsychologia. 2007 May 15;45(9):2059-65. Epub 2007 Feb 9.
“The unusual symmetry of musicians: musicians have equilateral interhemispheric transfer for visual information.”
Patston LL, Kirk IJ, Rolfe MH, Corballis MC, Tippett LJ.
Department of Psychology, University of Auckland, Level 6, Human Sciences Building, Auckland, New Zealand. email@example.com
Previous behavioural research has shown that spatial attention is bilaterally represented in musicians, possibly reflecting more equal neural development between the hemispheres. We investigated this theory electrophysiologically with another measure that has shown asymmetry, interhemispheric transfer time (IHTT). Sixteen right-handed musicians and 16 matched non-musicians responded to stimuli presented to the left and right visual fields while 128-channel EEG was recorded. IHTT was calculated by comparing the latencies of occipital N1 components between hemispheres. Non-musicians showed significantly faster IHTT in the right-to-left direction than in the left-to-right direction and a shorter N1 latency in the left than in the right hemisphere. In contrast, the musician group showed no directional difference between hemispheres in IHTT, and no hemispheric difference in latency. These results indicate that musicians have more bilateral neural connectivity than non-musicians, reflected in an unusual lack of asymmetry. It is suggested that plastic developmental changes caused by extended musical training in childhood result in equally efficient connections to both hemispheres.
PMID: 17374388 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]
Publication Types, MeSH Terms
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov’t
Evoked Potentials, Visual/physiology
Creativity has been proposed to be either the result of solely right hemisphere processes or of interhemispheric interactions. Little information is available, however, concerning the neuronal foundations of creativity. In this study, we introduced a new artistic task, designing a new tool (a pen), which let us quantitatively evaluate creativity by three indices of originality. These scores were analyzed in combination with brain activities measured by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The results were compared between subjects who had been formally trained in design (experts) and novice subjects. In the experts, creativity was quantitatively correlated with the degree of dominance of the right prefrontal cortex over that of the left, but not with that of the right or left prefrontal cortex alone. In contrast, in novice subjects, only a negative correlation with creativity was observed in the bilateral inferior parietal cortex. We introduced structure equation modeling to analyze the interactions among these four brain areas and originality indices. The results predicted that training exerts a direct effect on the left parietal cortex. Additionally, as a result of the indirect effects, the activity of the right prefrontal cortex was facilitated, and the left prefrontal and right parietal cortices were suppressed. Our results supported the hypothesis that training increases creativity via reorganized intercortical interactions.
(c) 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
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