Institute of Music Physiology and Musicians’ Medicine at the University of Music Drama and Media, Germany
Sensory and Motor Systems
Title of the talk:
Apollos gift: Musicians as models for adaptive and maladaptive brain plasticity
Eckart Altenmüller is a full university professor and medical doctor, and has an active clinical and academic research career. He holds a Masters degree in Classical flute, and a MD and PhD degree in Neurology and Neurophysiology
Between 1983 an 1985, he held a postdoctoral position in the department of Clinical Neurophysiology in Freiburg. In this position, he performed research into brain activation during auditory processing of music and learning of fine motor skills, an area in which he has published extensively. He received his clinical training in Neurology at the Department of Neurology at the University of Tubingen between 1985 and 1992, and was appointed Assistant Professor in Neurology in 1992.
Since 1994 he is chair and director of the Institute of Music Physiology and Musicians’ Medicine at the University of Music Drama and Media in Hannover. He continues research into movement disorders in musicians as well as motor, auditory and sensory learning. He has published more than 120 peer reviewed papers on this topic and received 18 grants from the German Research Foundation (DFG). Since 2005 he is President of the German Society of Music Physiology and Musicians’ Medicine and Member of the Göttingen Academy of Sciences. In 2013 he received the Science award of the state of lower Saxony .
Dr. Altenmüller continues research into movement disorders in musicians as well as motor, auditory and sensory learning in both, musicians and non-musicians. He is interested in structural and functional adaptations of the central nervous system as a consequence of music learning. In the last years, Dr. Altenmüller has explored transcranial direct current stimulation to enhance motor skills in healthy subjects and to improve deteriorated motor skills in musicians suffering from dystonia. Furthermore he has developed Neurologic Music Therapy, programs aiming at involving active music making in order to improve fine motor control in stroke patients.