Current News in the Department of Neurobiology – September

Xiaorong Liu receives grant

Xiaorong Liu, PhD, received the Brinson Foundation Junior Investigator Translational Research Grant through Northwestern Memorial Foundation.  The grant is for 30K in 2013 and can be renewed up to 3 years in total.

Northwestern Memorial Foundation raises funds to support the mission and strategic goals of Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Through fundraising, grantmaking and stewardship, the foundation perpetuates the hospital’s dedication to clinical innovation, scientific discovery and improving the health of our community.

Nina Kraus publishes article in Journal of Neuroscience

Nina Krause, PhD, publishes article, “A little goes a long way: how the adult brain is shaped by musical training in childhood” in the Journal of Neuroscience in the August 22nd, 2012 edition.

Abstract: Playing a musical instrument changes the anatomy and function of the brain. But do these changes persist after music training stops? We probed this question by measuring auditory brainstem responses in a cohort of healthy young human adults with varying amounts of past musical training. We show that adults who received formal music instruction as children have more robust brainstem responses to sound than peers who never participated in music lessons and that the magnitude of the response correlates with how recently training ceased. Our results suggest that neural changes accompanying musical training during childhood are retained in adulthood. These findings advance our understanding of long-term neuroplasticity and have general implications for the development of effective auditory training programs.