Before and after the first session and after the fifth and tenth sessions the novice pianists were asked to listen passively to short musical phrases and, in a separate test, to arbitrarily press keys on a soundless piano keyboard. During these test sessions the researchers monitored the electrical activity of the students' brains in 30 different places using a technique called electroencephalography. This enabled the researchers to build up maps of brain activity.
The patterns of brain activity after five sessions varied considerably between the two groups. For example the 'map' group activated the motor area for the hand when they were listening to music, whereas the 'no-map' group did not. The researchers also identified another area of the brain, in the right anterior region, which was more active in the 'map' group than the 'non-map' group. This area could be where the note to piano key 'map' is established. Previous research has suggested that this area is involved in the perception of melodic and harmonic pitch sequences. Bangert says, "Interestingly, the respective area in the left hemisphere is where you would find Broca's area, where much of our speech processing happens."