Musical training predicts cerebello-hippocampal coupling during music listening.

Cerebello-hippocampal interactions occur during accurate spatiotemporal prediction of movements. In the context of music listening, differences in cerebello-hippocampal functional connectivity may result from differences in predictive listening accuracy. Using functional MRI, we studied differences in this network between 18 musicians and 18 nonmusicians while they listened to music. Musicians possess a predictive listening advantage over nonmusicians, facilitated by strengthened coupling between produced and heard sounds through lifelong musical experience. Thus, we hypothesized that musicians would exhibit greater functional connectivity than nonmusicians as a marker of accurate online predictions during music listening. To this end, we estimated the functional connectivity between cerebellum and hippocampus as modulated by a perceptual measure of the predictability of the music. Results revealed increased predictability-driven functional connectivity in this network in musicians compared with nonmusicians, which was positively correlated with the length of musical training. Findings may be explained by musicians’ improved predictive listening accuracy. Our findings advance the understanding of cerebellar integrative function. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)