Functional connectivity in human auditory networks and the origins of variation in the transmission of musical systems
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versioneLife. 2019, 8 (e48719) 10.7554/eLife.48710
Music producers, whether original composers or performers, vary in their ability to acquire and faithfully transmit music. This form of variation may serve as a mechanism for the emergence of new traits in musical systems. In this study, we aim to investigate whether individual differences in the social learning and transmission of music relate to intrinsic neural dynamics of auditory processing systems. We combined auditory and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) with an interactive laboratory model of cultural transmission, the signaling game, in an experiment with a large cohort of participants (N=51). We found that the degree of interhemispheric rs-FC within fronto-temporal auditory networks predicts—weeks after scanning—learning, transmission, and structural modification of an artificial tone system. Our study introduces neuroimaging in cultural transmission research and points to specific neural auditory processing mechanisms that constrain and drive variation in the cultural transmission and regularization of musical systems.