Shabab Jamali, Takako Fujioka, and Bernhard Ross (2014)
Neuromagnetic beta and gamma oscillations in the somatosensory cortex after music training in healthy older adults and a chronic stroke patient
Clinical Neurophysiology, 125:1213-1222.
Extensive rehabilitation training can lead to functional improvement even years after a stroke. Although neuronal plasticity is considered as a main origin of such ameliorations, specific subtending mechanisms need further investigation. Our aim was to obtain objective neuromagnetic measures sensitive to brain reorganizations induced by a music-supported training.
We applied 20-Hz vibrotactile stimuli to the index finger and the ring finger, recorded somatosensory steady-state responses with magnetoencephalography, and analyzed the cortical sources displaying oscillations synchronized with the external stimuli in two groups of healthy older adults before and after musical training or without training. In addition, we applied the same analysis for an anecdotic report of a single chronic stroke patient with hemiparetic arm and hand problems, who received music-supported therapy (MST).
Healthy older adults showed significant finger separation within the primary somatotopic map. Beta dipole sources were more anterior located compared to gamma sources. An anterior shift of sources and increases in synchrony between the stimuli and beta and gamma oscillations were observed selectively after music training. In the stroke patient a normalization of somatotopic organization was observed after MST, with digit separation recovered after training and stimulus induced gamma synchrony increased.
The proposed stimulation paradigm captures the integrity of primary somatosensory hand representation. Source position and synchronization between the stimuli and gamma activity are indices, sensitive to music-supported training. Responsiveness was also observed in a chronic stroke patient, encouraging for the music-supported therapy. Notably, changes in somatosensory responses were observed, even though the therapy did not involve specific sensory discrimination training.
The proposed protocol can be used for monitoring changes in neuronal organization during training and will improve the understanding of the brain mechanisms underlying rehabilitation.