Sound processing in amateur musicians and nonmusicians: event-related potential and behavioral indices

Mari Tervaniemi, Anu Castaneda, Monja Knoll, Maria Uther

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


To increase our understanding of auditory neurocognition in musicians, we compared nonmusicians with amateur band musicians in their neural and behavioral sound encoding accuracy. Mismatch negativity and P3a components of the auditory event-related potentials were recorded to changes in basic acoustic features (frequency, duration, location, intensity, gap) and abstract features (melodic contour and interval size). Mismatch negativity was larger in musicians than in nonmusicians for location changes whereas no statistically significant group difference was observed in response to other feature changes or in abstract-feature mismatch negativity. P3a was observed only in musicians in response to location changes. This suggests that when compared with nonmusicians, even amateur musicians have neural sound processing advantages with acoustic information most essential to their musical genre.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number11
Pages (from-to)1225-1228
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2006
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 515 Psychology

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