Passive sound exposure induces rapid perceptual learning in musicians: event-related potential evidence.Biol Psychol. 2013 Oct; 94(2):341-53.BP
Musicians show enhanced auditory processing compared to nonmusicians. However, the neural basis underlying the effects of musical training on rapid plasticity in auditory processing has not been systematically studied. Here, the rapid (one session) learning-related plastic changes in event-related potential (ERP) responses for pitch and duration deviants between passive blocks were compared between musicians and nonmusicians. Passive blocks were interleaved with an active discrimination task. In addition to musicians having faster and stronger overall source activation for deviating sounds, source analysis revealed rapid plastic changes in the left and right temporal and left frontal sources that were present only in musicians. Source activation decreased in these areas even without focused attention. Furthermore, deviant-related ERP responses above the parietal areas decreased after the active task in both musicians and nonmusicians. Taken together, the results indicate enhanced rapid plasticity in sound change discrimination and perceptual learning in musicians when compared with nonmusicians.