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Sci Rep. 2016 Jan 6;6:18861. doi: 10.1038/srep18861.

Impaired encoding of rapid pitch information underlies perception and memory deficits in congenital amusia.

Author information

1
Lyon Neuroscience Research Center, Auditory Cognition and Psychoacoustics Team &Brain Dynamics and Cognition Team, CRNL, CNRS UMR5292, INSERM U1028, Lyon, F-69000, France.
2
Université Lyon 1, Lyon, F-69000, France.
3
International Laboratory for Brain, Music and Sound Research (BRAMS), Université de Montréal, Montreal, QC, Canada H3C 3J7.
4
Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University, Montreal, QC Canada H3A 2B4.

Abstract

Recent theories suggest that the basis of neurodevelopmental auditory disorders such as dyslexia or specific language impairment might be a low-level sensory dysfunction. In the present study we test this hypothesis in congenital amusia, a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by severe deficits in the processing of pitch-based material. We manipulated the temporal characteristics of auditory stimuli and investigated the influence of the time given to encode pitch information on participants' performance in discrimination and short-term memory. Our results show that amusics' performance in such tasks scales with the duration available to encode acoustic information. This suggests that in auditory neuro-developmental disorders, abnormalities in early steps of the auditory processing can underlie the high-level deficits (here musical disabilities). Observing that the slowing down of temporal dynamics improves amusics' pitch abilities allows considering this approach as a potential tool for remediation in developmental auditory disorders.

PMID:
26732511
PMCID:
PMC4702148
DOI:
10.1038/srep18861
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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