Accuracy of Synchrony Judgment and its Relation to the Auditory Brainstem Response: the Difference Between Pianists and Non-Pianists
Eriko Aiba*1, Koji Kazai*1, Takayuki Shimotomai*2,
Toshie Matsui*3, Minoru Tsuzaki*4, and Noriko Nagata*1
*1Kwansei Gakuin University, 2-1 Gakuen, Sanda, Hyogo 669-1337, Japan
*2Brain Science Institute, Tamagawa University, Japan
*3Nara Medical University, Japan
*4Kyoto City University of Arts, Japan
Synchrony judgment is one of the most important abilities for musicians. Only a few milliseconds of onset asynchrony result in a significant difference in musical expression. Using behavioural responses and Auditory Brainstem Responses (ABR), this study investigates whether synchrony judgment accuracy improves with training and, if so, whether physiological responses are also changed through training. Psychoacoustic experiments showed that accuracy of synchrony judgment of pianists was higher than that of non-pianists, implying that pianists’ ability to perceive tones increased through training. ABRmeasurements also showed differences between pianists and non-pianists. However, cochlear delay, an asymmetric aspect of temporal processing in the human auditory system, did not change with training. It is possible that training improved ability related to temporal tone perception and that training may increase synchrony in auditory nerve firing.
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