The Effect of Music Experience on Auditory Sequential Learning: An ERP Study

Samantha EmersonGeorgia State University, Atlanta, GA, United States
Jerome DaltrozzoGeorgia State University, Atlanta, GA, United States
Christopher ConwayGeorgia State University, Atlanta, GA, United States

Abstract

The existence of an advantage in sequential learning for musicians over nonmusicans is highly debated. The current study used an auditory sequential learning task to investigate the neurophysiological correlates of sequential learning in adults with either high or low music aptitudes. While behavioral results alone revealed no difference between the reaction times of the two groups, event-related potential data showed that higher music aptitude was associated with decreased amplitudes of the P300 and Contingent Negative Variation effect between two conditions with different transitional probabilities relative to a target stimulus. These data suggest that increased music training and skill leads to more efficient processing of (i.e., reduced attentional demands for) auditory sequential patterns.

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