Children (aged 9–12) training in an El Sistema-inspired program (OrKidstra) and a matched comparison group participated in an auditory Go/No-Go task while event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded. Entire-sweep waveform patterns correlated with known ERP peaks associated with executive and other cognitive functions and indicated that the spread of neural activity in the initial 250 ms of executive attention processing (pre-P300) showed higher level of topographical overlap in OrKidstra children. In these children, late potentials (post-P300) concurrent with response control were more widely distributed and temporally coordinated. Intensive ensemble music training, we suggest, may be associated with neuroplastic changes facilitating integration of neural information.

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Keywords attention, children, El Sistema, ERPs, executive functions, music training
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Journal Neurocase
Hedayati, N. (Nina), Schibli, K. (Kylie), & D'Angiulli, A. (2016). El Sistema-inspired ensemble music training is associated with changes in children’s neurocognitive functional integration: preliminary ERP evidence. Neurocase, 1–10. doi:10.1080/13554794.2016.1241885