Event Title

The Route to Musicianship Affects Language Along the Way

Co-Author(s)

Dr. Kelly Jantzen, Seth Novak, Anne Huntemer

Research Mentor(s)

Dr. McNeel Jantzen

Description

Intro: Perception and processing of speech displays similar acoustic features to that of music in the human brain. One of the most important temporal acoustic features in speech processing is voice onset time (VOT), or the length between the closure and start of voicing. Previous research suggests that VOT allows us to differentiate between voiced (e.g., /b/) and voiceless (e.g., /p/) stop consonants. Because musicians are better categorizing voiceless stimuli, have a more accurate representation of auditory stimuli and are less susceptible to background noise than non musicians, we predicted that musical training would improve a non-musician’s ability to discriminate a voiced from a voiceless stop consonant. This would suggest that musical training modulates neuroplastic changes in the language network of the human brain. Method: Previous researchers in the Language and Neural Systems lab recruited 15 non-musicians, and pre-tested their perceptual mapping ability with 3 tasks (An identification task and judged goodness tasks for both voiced and voiceless). Then they had the participants complete the WWU Music Department Theta Music Trainer Program over eleven days. Finally, the researchers tested the subjects’ perceptual mapping ability post-training. Results: There were n=12 learners and n=3 non learners at the end of the musical training. The learners were either an initial learner, because they had a good perceptual mapping representation pre and post training, or a non-initial learner, because they had a poor perceptual mapping representation pre musical training and then improved at the end of 11 days. Many of the learners displayed evidence of the perceptual magnet theory. Conclusions: Musical training either improved or maintained the learners’ ability to discriminate voiced and voiceless stop consonant speech sounds. Thus, we suggest that musical training can improve speech perception. This is interesting because it suggests that the music processing networks modulate the speech processing networks.

Document Type

Event

Start Date

May 2018

End Date

May 2018

Location

BRAIN, Behavioral Neuroscience

Rights

Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this document for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author’s written permission.

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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May 16th, 12:00 PM May 16th, 3:00 PM

The Route to Musicianship Affects Language Along the Way

BRAIN, Behavioral Neuroscience

Intro: Perception and processing of speech displays similar acoustic features to that of music in the human brain. One of the most important temporal acoustic features in speech processing is voice onset time (VOT), or the length between the closure and start of voicing. Previous research suggests that VOT allows us to differentiate between voiced (e.g., /b/) and voiceless (e.g., /p/) stop consonants. Because musicians are better categorizing voiceless stimuli, have a more accurate representation of auditory stimuli and are less susceptible to background noise than non musicians, we predicted that musical training would improve a non-musician’s ability to discriminate a voiced from a voiceless stop consonant. This would suggest that musical training modulates neuroplastic changes in the language network of the human brain. Method: Previous researchers in the Language and Neural Systems lab recruited 15 non-musicians, and pre-tested their perceptual mapping ability with 3 tasks (An identification task and judged goodness tasks for both voiced and voiceless). Then they had the participants complete the WWU Music Department Theta Music Trainer Program over eleven days. Finally, the researchers tested the subjects’ perceptual mapping ability post-training. Results: There were n=12 learners and n=3 non learners at the end of the musical training. The learners were either an initial learner, because they had a good perceptual mapping representation pre and post training, or a non-initial learner, because they had a poor perceptual mapping representation pre musical training and then improved at the end of 11 days. Many of the learners displayed evidence of the perceptual magnet theory. Conclusions: Musical training either improved or maintained the learners’ ability to discriminate voiced and voiceless stop consonant speech sounds. Thus, we suggest that musical training can improve speech perception. This is interesting because it suggests that the music processing networks modulate the speech processing networks.