Effective Connectivity During Rest and Music Listening: An EEG Study on Parkinson’s Disease

Eleonora Maggioni, Federica Arienti, Stella Minella, Francesca Mameli, Linda Borellini, Martina Nigro, Filippo Cogiamanian, Anna Maria Bianchi, Sergio Cerutti, Sergio Barbieri, Paolo Brambilla, Gianluca Ardolino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Music-based interventions seem to enhance motor, sensory and cognitive functions in Parkinson’s disease (PD), but the underlying action mechanisms are still largely unknown. This electroencephalography (EEG) study aimed to investigate the effective connectivity patterns characterizing PD in the resting state and during music listening. EEG recordings were obtained from fourteen non-demented PD patients and 12 healthy controls, at rest and while listening to three music tracks. Theta- and alpha-band power spectral density and multivariate partial directed coherence were computed. Power and connectivity measures were compared between patients and controls in the four conditions and in music vs. rest. Compared to controls, patients showed enhanced theta-band power and slightly enhanced alpha-band power, but markedly reduced theta- and alpha-band interactions among EEG channels, especially concerning the information received by the right central channel. EEG power differences were partially reduced by music listening, which induced power increases in controls but not in patients. Connectivity differences were slightly compensated by music, whose effects largely depended on the track. In PD, music enhanced the frontotemporal inter-hemispheric communication. Our findings suggest that PD is characterized by enhanced activity but reduced information flow within the EEG network, being only partially normalized by music. Nevertheless, music capability to facilitate inter-hemispheric communication might underlie its beneficial effects on PD pathophysiology and should be further investigated.

Original languageEnglish
Article number657221
JournalFrontiers in Aging Neuroscience
Publication statusPublished - Apr 28 2021


  • brain connectivity
  • EEG
  • Granger causality analysis
  • music
  • Parkinson’s disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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