Cognitive and methodological considerations on the effects of musical expertise on speech segmentation

  • François C
  • Tillmann B
  • Schön D
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Abstract

Both speech and music are constituted by sequences of sound elements that unfold in time and require listeners to engage cognitive functions such as sequencing, attention, and memory. We recently ran a set of experiments with the aim of testing the effect of musical expertise on a rather high cognitive function: speech segmentation. Here, we will present the main concepts underlying the investigation of speech segmentation as well as its link to music and musical expertise. Interestingly, our results seem to show that musical training and expertise have effects on brain plasticity that may go beyond primary regions. Moreover, to facilitate and improve future research in this domain, we will here describe several delicate methodological precautions that need to be taken into account (e.g., the choice of stimuli, participants, data analyses). Finally, we will give some possible future directions to better understand the impact that music may have on speech processing.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Musical expertise
  • Speech segmentation
  • Transfer of training

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