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Language and music involve the productive combination of basic units into structures. It remains unclear whether brain regions sensitive to linguistic and musical structure are co-localized. We report an intraoperative awake craniotomy in which a left-hemispheric language-dominant professional musician underwent cortical stimulation mapping (CSM) and electrocorticography of music and language perception and production during repetition tasks. Musical sequences were melodic or amelodic, and differed in algorithmic compressibility (Lempel-Ziv complexity). Auditory recordings of sentences differed in syntactic complexity (single vs. multiple phrasal embeddings). CSM of posterior superior temporal gyrus (pSTG) disrupted music perception and production, along with speech production. pSTG and posterior middle temporal gyrus (pMTG) activated for language and music (broadband gamma; 70-150 Hz). pMTG activity was modulated by musical complexity, while pSTG activity was modulated by syntactic complexity. This points to shared resources for music and language comprehension, but distinct neural signatures for the processing of domain-specific structural features.


Musical acoustics, Biological sciences, Neuroscience, Sensory neuroscience


PMID: 37485361



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