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Altered Basal Ganglia Topology Associated with Auditory-Motor Synchronization

Altered Basal Ganglia Topology Associated with Auditory-Motor Synchronization

Presenter Name:1,2 Stéphanie K., Lavigne

School/Affiliation:1 Music and Health Science Research Collaboratory, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario 2 Laboratory for Complex Brain Networks, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Co-Authors:2 Jonathan H., Burdette 2 Mohsen, Bahrami 2 Paul J., Laurienti 2 Robert G., Lyday 1 Michael H., Thaut


Auditory-motor synchronization is a validated method used to address gait, upper limb, and motor speech rehabilitation in Parkinson’s disease and other populations with neurological disorders. Predictable auditory cues optimize movement patterns while reducing the brain’s reliance on dopaminergic (DA) responses in the ventral striatum, albeit exact mechanisms for the reduction in DA uptake require further investigation. This study looks at auditory-motor synchronization using network science methods. 


Fourteen healthy non-musician adults (aged 22-35; 7 Females, 7 Males) were recruited and underwent two fMRI tasks consisting in finger-tapping to a steady auditory beat and self-paced tapping, both performed at 1 Hz. The spatial consistency of nine brain subnetworks were investigated. A multivariate regression model was used to test the hypotheses that changes in global efficiency (GE) and clustering coefficient (CC) were associated with the experimental tasks in the studied subnetworks. A second order connectivity analysis was performed to understand how subnetworks were connected to one another. 


The topology of the basal ganglia network (BGN) was significantly different between conditions. During the auditory-motor synchronization task and within the BGN, the number (𝛽 = 0.1997; p <.0001) and strength (𝛽 = 0.01745; p = 0.0167) of connections between higher efficient regions was significantly greater when compared to self-paced tapping.   


Efficiency is a measure of information flow in the brain. The increased BGN efficiency in the presence of predictable auditory cues during a tapping task may indicate the influence of auditory cueing on higher neural synchronization within this subnetwork. 

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