Extremes of sensorimotor control of musical performance: virtuosity and dystonia


Room 501, Goodman Cancer Centre, 1160 Pine Avenue West, Montreal, QC, CA

Outstanding sensorimotor skills characterizing musicians have attracted people in the world over centuries. Nimble, accurate, efficient, and dexterous movements are outcomes of neuromuscular adaptations elicited by early and long-term musical training. However, repetition of precise motor actions for years sometimes triggers movement disorders such as task-specific focal dystonia and tremor. Although neuroimaging studies advanced the understanding of neuroplastic mechanisms subserving acquisition and loss of virtuosity in musicians, what remains elusive is computational mechanism responsible for optimizing the sensorimotor system for virtuosic musical performance and for malfunctioning it through developing movement disorders. The present talk focuses on the following issues; movement reorganization at the musculoskeletal system possessing a large number of degrees of freedom through musical training, impacts of musical training on auditory feedback control during musical performance, neuromuscular determinants of the inter-individual differences in motor skills among highly-skilled musicians, and novel neuro-rehabilitation normalizing maladaptive neuronal changes elicited by musician’s dystonia.

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