Moderate associations between BDNF Val66Met gene polymorphism, musical expertise, and mismatch negativity

L Bonetti*, S E P Bruzzone, T Paunio, K Kantojärvi, M Kliuchko, P Vuust, S Palva, E Brattico*

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde


Auditory predictive processing relies on a complex interaction between environmental, neurophysiological, and genetic factors. In this view, the mismatch negativity (MMN) and intensive training on a musical instrument for several years have been used for studying environment-driven neural adaptations in audition. In addition, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has been shown crucial for both the neurogenesis and the later adaptation of the auditory system. The functional single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) Val66Met (rs6265) in the BDNF gene can affect BDNF protein levels, which are involved in neurobiological and neurophysiological processes such as neurogenesis and neuronal plasticity. In this study, we hypothesised that genetic variation within the BDNF gene would be associated with different levels of neuroplasticity of the auditory cortex in 74 musically trained participants. To achieve this goal, musicians and non-musicians were recruited and divided in Val/Val and Met- (Val/Met and Met/Met) carriers and their brain activity was measured with magnetoencephalography (MEG) while they listened to a regular auditory sequence eliciting different types of prediction errors. MMN responses indexing those prediction errors were overall enhanced in Val/Val carriers who underwent intensive musical training, compared to Met-carriers and non-musicians with either genotype. Although this study calls for replications with larger samples, our results provide a first glimpse of the possible role of gene-regulated neurotrophic factors in the neural adaptations of automatic predictive processing in the auditory domain after long-term training.

Udgave nummer5
Sider (fra-til)1-13
Antal sider13
StatusUdgivet - maj 2023


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