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Preliminary evidence for reduced cortical activity in experienced guitarists during performance preparation for simple scale playing

Wright, David J., Holmes, Paul S., Blain, Martin and Smith, Dave (2012) Preliminary evidence for reduced cortical activity in experienced guitarists during performance preparation for simple scale playing. ISSN 1755-9219

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Abstract

Research using neuroscientific techniques has shown that less cortical activity occurs in the brains of experienced musicians and athletes than in the brains of novices when they plan and prepare to perform a motor skill. We used electroencephalography to observe cortical activity in the brains of experienced and novice guitarists preparing to play a scale on the guitar. The results, presented in this research note, confirm the findings of previous research and suggest that the motor preparation of experts is more efficient than that of novices. Cortical activity in music students could therefore, if tracked longitudinally, provide an objective marker of musical skill learning and be used to inform music learning, teaching and assessment practices.

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