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Department of Audiology, All India Institute of Speech and Hearing, Manasagangothri, Mysore, India
Publication date: 2014-09-30
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Priyanka Vijaya Kumar   

Priyanka Vijaya Kumar, Department of Audiology, All India Institute of Speech and Hearing, Manasagangothri, Mysore – 570006, India, Tel: +91 9886801509, e-mail: priyanka.vishu@gmail.com
J Hear Sci 2014;4(3):35-42
Temporal processing abilities are important for speech perception, and they are generally superior in musicians than in non-musicians. Since there are many different training methods used to develop musical expertise (e.g. vocal or instrumental), these differences could lead to varying temporal processing abilities of acoustic signals. The current study aims to see if there are any differences in temporal processing abilities between violinists and vocalists.

Material and Methods:
Four different psychoacoustic tests – gap detection threshold (GDT), duration discrimination test (DDT), duration pattern test (DPT), and the modulation detection threshold for sinusoidally amplitude-modulated noise (SAM) at six different modulation frequencies – were used to assess differences in temporal processing abilities between 15 trained violinists and 15 trained vocalists. The results were compared with a group of 15 non-musicians.

Musicians, both violinists and vocalists, always performed significantly better (p<0.01) than non-musicians in all 4 psychoacoustic tests. Vocalists performed equal to or slightly better than violinists in GDT and at 5/6 modulation frequencies in modulation detection threshold for SAM noise test, although the differences were not statistically significant.

Although vocalists and instrumentalists undergo different forms of training in terms of the sound they produce and the sound qualities they need to perceive, the training does not lead to any major difference in their temporal processing abilities of acoustic signals.

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