Presentation by Dr. Marianne Stephan
Investigating corticospinal excitability during melody listening: A Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation study
Abstract: Research has shown that merely listening to sounds that are associated with movement can engage motor regions of the brain, and that listening to such sounds can help us learn and perform motor tasks. The goal of this study was to find neurophysiological markers of auditory-motor association learning. Using Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), we aimed to determine whether motor corticospinal excitability during melody listening without moving would change as participants learned to play a melody on a piano-type keyboard. Findings suggest that training enhanced muscle-specific motor excitability before tone onset for learned compared to novel sequences. This indicates that auditory-motor training may have led to plastic neuronal changes modulating motor system activation during listening to movement-associated tones.
Short Bio: Marianne Stephan is interested in the influence of auditory information on motor learning and memory formation and its underlying neuronal mechanisms. She’s currently doing a Postdoc with Dr. Virginia Penhune (Concordia University). The current presentation will be about preliminary data from a Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation study performed last year at BRAMS.