Although acquired amusia is a relatively common disorder after stroke, its precise neuroanatomical basis is still unknown. To evaluate which brain regions form the neural substrate for acquired amusia and its recovery, we performed a voxel-based lesion-symptom mapping (VLSM) and morphometry (VBM) study with 77 human stroke subjects. Structural MRIs were acquired at acute and 6 month poststroke stages. Amusia and aphasia were behaviorally assessed at acute and 3 month poststroke stages using the Scale and Rhythm subtests of the Montreal Battery of Evaluation of Amusia (MBEA) and language tests. VLSM analyses indicated that amusia was associated with a lesion area comprising the superior temporal gyrus, Heschl’s gyrus, insula, and striatum in the right hemisphere, clearly different from the lesion pattern associated with aphasia. Parametric analyses of MBEA Pitch and Rhythm scores showed extensive lesion overlap in the right striatum, as well as in the right Heschl’s gyrus and superior temporal gyrus. Lesions associated with Rhythm scores extended more superiorly and posterolaterally. VBM analysis of volume changes from the acute to the 6 month stage showed a clear decrease in gray matter volume in the right superior and middle temporal gyri in nonrecovered amusic patients compared with nona-music patients. This increased atrophy was more evident in anterior temporal areas in rhythm amusia and in posterior temporal and temporoparietal areas in pitch amusia. Overall, the results implicate right temporal and subcortical regions as the crucial neural substrate for acquired amusia and highlight the importance of different temporal lobe regions for the recovery of amusia after stroke.
- Voxel-based lesion-symptom mapping
- Voxel-based morphometry
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