Passive listening to music, without sound production or evident movement, is long known to activate motor control regions. Nevertheless, the exact neuroanatomical correlates of the auditory-motor association and its underlying neural mechanisms have not been fully determined. Here, based on a NeuroSynth meta-analysis and three original fMRI paradigms of music perception, we show that the long-ignored pre-motor region, area 55b, an anatomically unique and functionally intriguing region, is a core hub of music perception. Moreover, results of a brain-behavior correlation analysis implicate neural entrainment as the underlying mechanism of area 55b’s contribution to music perception. In view of the current results and prior literature, area 55b is proposed as a keystone of sensorimotor integration, a fundamental brain machinery underlying simple to hierarchically complex behaviors. Refining the neuroanatomical and physiological understanding of sensorimotor integration is expected to have a major impact on various fields, from brain disorders to artificial general intelligence.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Medicine (miscellaneous)