Reference : Effects of Music and Language Expertise on the Implicit Learning of Musical and Lingu...
Scientific congresses and symposiums : Poster
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology : Neurosciences & behavior
Effects of Music and Language Expertise on the Implicit Learning of Musical and Linguistic Structures?
Larrouy-Maestri, Pauline mailto [Université de Liège > Département de Psychologie : cognition et comportement > Logopédie des troubles de la voix >]
DeChristen, Eleonore [> >]
Kolinsky, Régine [> >]
9th Triennial Conference of the European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music
from 17.08.2015 to 22.08.2015
[en] Statistical learning ; Song ; Music expertise ; Bilinguals ; Multilinguals
[en] 1. Background
The cognitive consequences of music and language expertise are rarely compared. Recently, we observed different profiles in music and language experts in implicit learning of linguistic structures of sung material (Larrouy-Maestri, Leybaert, & Kolinsky, 2013), with music experts performing better. Yet, as the language experts were speech therapists, this could reflect their formal, late language training.

2. Aims
We aimed at comparing informal vs. formal language training and at examining the effect of dual expertise (in music and language) on the implicit statistical learning of musical and linguistic structures. We therefore used the sung material of Larrouy-Maestri et al. (2013) and tested the ability of music and/or language experts as well as of dual experts to implicitly learn the linguistic and/or musical structure of this material.

3. Method
14 music experts, 14 bi- or multi-linguals and 8 dual experts (bi- or multi-linguals also experts in music) were asked to listen attentively to 7.30 min of a continuous stream made out of 6 trisyllabic nonsense “words” sung on 6 three-tone melodies. Each “word” (defined by transitional probabilities) carried its specific melody, as melodic and linguistic transitional probabilities were congruent. A two-alternative forced-choice required choosing between “words” and “partwords”, either spoken (in the linguistic test) or instrumental (in the music test) was used to test participants’ learning of the linguistic or melodic structure.
4. Results
Expertise modulated performance in the linguistic test when including the speech-therapists of our previous study (F(3, 49) = 5.92, p = .002, η2 = 0.28), who performed the worst. In the musical test, there was no significant group effect (p = .25), but one-sample t-tests showed that only the dual experts performed above chance, with 62.5% correct (p < .01).

5. Conclusions
Whereas informal language training and music expertise lead to similar abilities to implicitly learn linguistic - but not musical - structure, this was not the case of formal language expertise. The combination of music and informal language expertise led to a particular profile, i.e., to the ability to learn simultaneously the musical and linguistic structures of sung material.
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