Training Mandarin-Speaking Amusics to Recognize Pitch Direction: Pathway to Treat Musical Disorders in Congenital Amusia?
Publication in refereed journal

Altmetrics Information

Other information
AbstractCongenital amusia is a lifelong disorder of musical perception and production that has been hypothesized as due to impaired pitch direction recognition. This study investigated whether amusics could be trained to identify pitch direction in speech and music, and if so, whether enhanced pitch direction recognition would benefit musical processing in amusia. Eighteen Mandarin-speaking amusics and 18 matched controls were evaluated using the Montreal Battery of Evaluation of Amusia (Peretz et al., 2003) and tested on two psychophysical pitch threshold tasks for identification of pitch direction in the Mandarin syllable /ma/ and its piano tone analog. Subsequently, nine of the eighteen amusics undertook a 10-session training program on pitch direction identification in /ma/ and piano tone. Compared with those untrained, trained amusics demonstrated significantly improved thresholds for pitch direction identification in speech syllables [pretest: 2.92 (4.63) semitones; posttest: 0.16 (0.06)], and marginally significant improvement in pitch direction identification thresholds for piano tones [pretest: 5.20 (4.56); posttest: 0.89 (1.46)]. These findings suggest that pitch sensitivity of individuals with congenital amusia could be improved through auditory training, providing evidence for neural plasticity in the amusic brain, which may lead the way to other rehabilitative programs for treating this musical disorder.
All Author(s) ListLIU Fang, JIANG Cunmei, FRANCART Tom, CHAN Alice H., WONG Patrick Chun Man
Name of Conference166th Acoustical Society of America Meeting
Start Date of Conference02/12/2013
End Date of Conference06/12/2013
Place of ConferenceCalifornia
Country/Region of ConferenceUnited States of America
Journal nameJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Proceedings TitleThe Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
Volume Number134
Issue Number5
Pages4064 - 4064
LanguagesEnglish-United Kingdom
KeywordsPitch, Music perception

Last updated on 2020-23-11 at 00:54