Increased gray matter volume of left pars opercularis in male orchestral musicians correlate positively with years of musical performance

Ihssan A. Abdul-Kareem, Andrej Stancak, Laura Parkes, Vanessa Sluming

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Purpose To compare manual volumetry of gray matter (GM) / white matter (WM) of Broca's area subparts: pars opercularis (POP) and pars triangularis (PTR) in both hemispheres between musicians and nonmusician, as it has been shown that these regions are crucial for musical abilities. A previous voxel-based morphometric (VBM) study conducted in our laboratory reported increased GM density in Broca's area of left hemisphere in male orchestral musicians. Functional segregation of POP/PTR justified separate volumetric analysis of these parts. Materials and Methods We used the same cohort for the VBM study. Manual morphometry (stereology) was used to compare volumes between 26/26 right-handed orchestral musicians/nonmusicians. Results As expected, musicians showed significantly increased GM volume in the Broca's area, specifically in the left POP. No significant results were detected in right POP, left/right PTR GM volumes, and WM volumes for all regions. Results were positively correlated with years of musical performance (r = 0.7, P = 0.0001). Conclusion This result corroborates the VBM study and is in line with the hypothesis of critical involvement of POP in hearing-action integration being an integral component of frontoparietotemporal mirror neuron network. We hypothesize that increased size of musicians' left POP represent use-dependent structural adaptation in response to intensive audiomotor skill acquisition. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)24-32
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
    Volume33
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011

    Keywords

    • Broca's area
    • musicians
    • pars opercularis
    • volume

    Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

    • Dementia@Manchester

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