A Bayesian method for inference of effective connectivity in brain networks for detecting the Mozart effect

Rik J. C. van Esch, Shengling Shi*, Antoine Bernas, Svitlana Zinger, Albert P. Aldenkamp, Paul M. J. Van den Hof

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Several studies claim that listening to Mozart music affects cognition and can be used to treat neurological conditions like epilepsy. Research into this Mozart effect has not addressed how dynamic interactions between brain networks, i.e. effective connectivity, are affected. The Granger-causality analysis is often used to infer effective connectivity. First, we investigate if a new method, Bayesian topology identification, can be used as an alternative. Both methods are evaluated on simulation data, where the Bayesian method outperforms the Granger-causality analysis in the inference of connectivity graphs of dynamic networks, especially for short data lengths. In the second part, the Bayesian method is extended to enable the inference of changes in effective connectivity between groups of subjects. Next, we apply both methods to fMRI scans of 16 healthy subjects, who were scanned before and after the exposure to Mozart's sonata K448 at least 2 hours a day for 7 days. Here, we investigate if the effective connectivity of the subjects significantly changed after listening to Mozart music. The Bayesian method detected changes in effective connectivity between networks related to cognitive processing and control in the connection from the central executive to the superior sensori-motor network, in the connection from the posterior default mode to the fronto-parietal right network, and in the connection from the anterior default mode to the dorsal attention network. This last connection was only detected in a subgroup of subjects with a longer listening duration. Only in this last connection, an effect was found by the Granger-causality analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104055
Number of pages13
JournalComputers in Biology and Medicine
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • fMRI
  • Neurodynamics
  • Resting-state networks
  • Bayesian model selection
  • Mozart effect
  • ICA
  • FMRI

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