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Neuromodulatory effects of movement during auditory-motor tasks

Neuromodulatory effects of movement during auditory-motor tasks

Session 1

Presenter Name:Marc Vidal

School/Affiliation:Ghent University (Belgium), University of Granada (Spain)

Co-Authors:Marc Leman, Ana M. Aguilera and Tom Fritz


From a neuroscience of music perspective, the embodied music cognition paradigm poses some challenges difficult to overcome. Neuroimaging techniques are highly sensitive to movement, which prevents them from being suitable for recordings involving auditory-motor tasks due to volume conduction effects. Nevertheless, with the advent of portable devices and new mathematical methodologies for high dimensional (and complex) data, this problem becomes more manageable. We investigated the neuromodulatory effects of gestures synchronized to auditory stimuli by analyzing the higher-order structure of our data. The proposed method based on basis functions approximations, effectively separates mixtures of neural signatures and allows a reduction of motion artifacts with minimum loss of information. Our findings partially resonate with the hypothesis that auditory event-related potentials are characterized by a reduction of the waveform’s complexity through a suppression of spontaneous fluctuation of neuronal activity in correspondence to certain spectral subbands. Synchronizing movements to sound may influence the processing of information through parsimonious engagement of neural resources. A broader discussion of modulating effects of motor input on cognition is beyond the scope of the present contribution. However, the current data shows that auditory-motor coupling is not necessarily a mere distractor, but may sometimes be key at integrating sensory input.

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