Kirsteen Davidson-Kelly1, Sujin Hong1, Janani Dhinakaran2, Joseph Sanders3, Calum Gray4, Edwin J. R. van Beek4, Neil Roberts4, Katie Overy1
1Music, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom; 2Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburgh, Germany; 3Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London, United Kingdom; 4Clinical Research Imaging Centre (CRIC), Queens Medical Research Institute (QMRI), University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Musical imagery is an expert learning strategy with potential to enhance performance, reduce physical overuse and decrease anxiety. In this fMRI study we scanned a professional pianist with vivid imagery skills during imagined and simulated motor performance of memorised music. The motor system (SMA, pre-motor cortex, cerebellum) was activated during both tasks, while M1 was activated during performance only. Interestingly, the MFG showed differential activation for imagery (bilateral) and performance (left-sided only), possibly indicating a shift/increase in attention. We conclude that the MFG could provide an index of the effectiveness of musical imagery as a learning strategy.