June 25, 2020

10:30 AM, via Zoom (max. 100 listeners)

Meeting-ID: 916 040 7575
Password: 8piQvH

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PD Dr. Annemarie Seither-Preisler, Centre for Systematic Musicology, University of Graz and BioTechMed Graz
PD Dr. Peter Schneider, Neuroradiology and Neurology Clinic, Biomagnetism Section, University Hospital Heidelberg

Both attention deficit disorders (with/without hyperactivity: ADHD/ADD) and dyslexia are often accompanied by central auditory processing disorders, which do not originate from dysfunctions in peripheral hearing, but from poor auditory pattern recognition in higher areas of the brain. Unfortunately, the latter are not part of the psychological and medical diagnostic procedure. Since 2009, we have studied in a large-scale international longitudinal study with 220 children/adolescents (about half of them with the above-mentioned developmental disorders), how early musical practice affects the long-term development of cognitive and auditory skills, as well as the neuroanatomy and function of auditory cortex. Data from five repeated measurement timepoints should be available by the end of 2020. The long-term results show that, although the individual gross anatomical features of auditory cortex are stable, the corresponding functions mature up until puberty. The pace of this natural maturation showed a direct dependence on the intensity of music-making. Particular benefits were observed in children with dyslexia, ADHD, and ADD: the initially retarded and in both hemispheres asynchronous activation patterns normalized significantly in the course of musical practice. Corresponding effects were, however, only observed after music had been played for about one hour per week for at least four to five years. In addition, stable neuroanatomical markers of musical aptitude were identified, which had a significant influence on musical practice. The results of the research so far are summarized in a neurocognitive developmental model.