Evidence for enhanced interoceptive accuracy in professional musicians

Katharina L. Schirmer-Mokwa, Pouyan R. Fard, Anna M. Zamorano, Sebastian Finkel, Niels Birbaumer, Boris A. Kleber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Interoception is defined as the perceptual activity involved in the processing of internal bodily signals. While the ability of internal perception is considered a relatively stable trait, recent data suggest that learning to integrate multisensory information can modulate it. Making music is a uniquely rich multisensory experience that has shown to alter motor, sensory, and multimodal representations in the brain of musicians. We hypothesize that musical training also heightens interoceptive accuracy comparable to other perceptual modalities. Thirteen professional singers, twelve string players, and thirteen matched non-musicians were examined using a well-established heartbeat discrimination paradigm complemented by self-reported dispositional traits. Results revealed that both groups of musicians displayed higher interoceptive accuracy than non-musicians, whereas no differences were found between singers and string-players. Regression analyses showed that accumulated musical practice explained about 49% variation in heartbeat perception accuracy in singers but not in string-players. Psychometric data yielded a number of psychologically plausible inter-correlations in musicians related to performance anxiety. However, dispositional traits were not a confounding factor on heartbeat discrimination accuracy. Together, these data provide first evidence indicating that professional musicians show enhanced interoceptive accuracy compared to non-musicians. We argue that musical training largely accounted for this effect.

Original languageEnglish
Article number358
JournalFrontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience
Volume9
Issue numberDEC
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 17 2015

Fingerprint

Singing
Performance Anxiety
Aptitude
Music
Psychometrics
Regression Analysis
Learning
Brain
Discrimination (Psychology)

Keywords

  • Heartbeat perception
  • Insula
  • Interoception
  • Multisensory integration
  • Musicians

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology

Cite this

Schirmer-Mokwa, K. L., Fard, P. R., Zamorano, A. M., Finkel, S., Birbaumer, N., & Kleber, B. A. (2015). Evidence for enhanced interoceptive accuracy in professional musicians. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 9(DEC), [358]. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnbeh.2015.00349

Evidence for enhanced interoceptive accuracy in professional musicians. / Schirmer-Mokwa, Katharina L.; Fard, Pouyan R.; Zamorano, Anna M.; Finkel, Sebastian; Birbaumer, Niels; Kleber, Boris A.

In: Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, Vol. 9, No. DEC, 358, 17.12.2015.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Schirmer-Mokwa, KL, Fard, PR, Zamorano, AM, Finkel, S, Birbaumer, N & Kleber, BA 2015, 'Evidence for enhanced interoceptive accuracy in professional musicians', Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, vol. 9, no. DEC, 358. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnbeh.2015.00349
Schirmer-Mokwa KL, Fard PR, Zamorano AM, Finkel S, Birbaumer N, Kleber BA. Evidence for enhanced interoceptive accuracy in professional musicians. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience. 2015 Dec 17;9(DEC). 358. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnbeh.2015.00349
Schirmer-Mokwa, Katharina L. ; Fard, Pouyan R. ; Zamorano, Anna M. ; Finkel, Sebastian ; Birbaumer, Niels ; Kleber, Boris A. / Evidence for enhanced interoceptive accuracy in professional musicians. In: Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience. 2015 ; Vol. 9, No. DEC.
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