Advertisement

Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 237, Issue 6, pp 1575–1580 | Cite as

Improved tactile frequency discrimination in musicians

  • Andréanne SharpEmail author
  • M. S. Houde
  • M. Maheu
  • I. Ibrahim
  • F. Champoux
Research Article

Abstract

Music practice is a multisensory training that is of great interest to neuroscientists because of its implications for neural plasticity. Music-related modulation of sensory systems has been observed in neuroimaging data, and has been supported by results in behavioral tasks. Some studies have shown that musicians react faster than non-musicians to visual, tactile and auditory stimuli. Behavioral enhancement in more complex tasks has received considerably less attention in musicians. This study aims to investigate unisensory and multisensory discrimination capabilities in musicians. More specifically, the goal of this study is to examine auditory, tactile and auditory-tactile discrimination in musicians. The literature suggesting better auditory and auditory-tactile discrimination in musicians is scarce, and no study to date has examined pure tactile discrimination capabilities in musicians. A two-alternative forced-choice frequency discrimination task was used in this experiment. The task was inspired by musical production, and participants were asked to identify whether a frequency was the same as or different than a standard stimulus of 160 Hz in three conditions: auditory only, auditory-tactile only and tactile only. Three waveforms were used to replicate the variability of pitch that can be found in music. Stimuli were presented through headphones for auditory stimulation and a glove with haptic audio exciters for tactile stimulation. Results suggest that musicians have lower discrimination thresholds than non-musicians for auditory-only and auditory-tactile conditions for all waveforms. The results also revealed that musicians have lower discrimination thresholds than non-musicians in the tactile condition for sine and square waveforms. Taken together, these results support the hypothesis that musical training can lead to better unisensory tactile discrimination which is in itself a new and major finding.

Keywords

Music Tactile Multisensory training Brain plasticity 

Notes

Funding

Funding was provided by Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (RGPIN-2016-05211).

References

  1. Anatürk M, Jentzsch I (2015) The effects of musical training on movement pre-programming and re-programming abilities: an event-related potential investigation. Biol Psychol 106:39–49CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Audacity Team (2019) Audacity(R): free audio editor and recorder [Computer application]. Version 2.3.1. https://audacityteam.org/. Retrieved 20 Mar 2019
  3. Chang X, Wang P, Zhang Q, Feng X, Zhang C, Zhou P (2014) The effect of music training on unimanual and bimanual responses. Musicae Scientiae 18(4):464–472CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cohen JD (1993) PsyScope: a new graphic interactive environment for designing psychology experiments. Behav Res Methods Instrum Comput 25(2):257–271CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Elbert T, Pantev C, Wienbruch C, Rockstroh B, Taub E (1995) Increased cortical representation of the fingers of the left hand in string players. Science 270(5234):305–307CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Gaser C, Schlaug G (2003) Brain structures differ between musicians and non-musicians. J Neurosci 23(27):9240–9245CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Gescheider GA (2013) Psychophysics: the fundamentals. Psychology Press, LondonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Gruhn W (2002) Phases and stages in early music learning. A longitudinal study on the development of young children’s musical potential. Music Educ Res 4(1):51–71CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Habib M, Besson M (2009) What do music training and musical experience teach us about brain plasticity? Music Percept Interdiscip J 26(3):279–285CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Herholz SC, Zatorre RJ (2012) Musical training as a framework for brain plasticity: behavior, function, and structure. Neuron 76(3):486–502CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Kishon-Rabin L, Amir O, Vexler Y, Zaltz Y (2001) Pitch discrimination: are professional musicians better than non-musicians? J Basic Clin Physiol Pharmacol 12(2):125–144CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Kraus N, Chandrasekaran B (2010) Music training for the development of auditory skills. Nat Rev Neurosci 11(8):599CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Landry SP, Champoux F (2017) Musicians react faster and are better multisensory integrators. Brain Cognit 111:156–162CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Landry SP, Guillemot JP, Champoux F (2013) Temporary deafness can impair multisensory integration: a study of cochlear-implant users. Psychol Sci 24(7):1260–1268CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Landry SP, Guillemot JP, Champoux F (2014) Audiotactile interaction can change over time in cochlear implant users. Front Hum Neurosci 8:316CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Micheyl C, Delhommeau K, Perrot X, Oxenham AJ (2006) Influence of musical and psychoacoustical training on pitch discrimination. Hear Res 219(1–2):36–47CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Münte TF, Altenmüller E, Jäncke L (2002) The musician’s brain as a model of neuroplasticity. Nat Rev Neurosci 3(6):473CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Pantev C, Oostenveld R, Engelien A, Ross B, Roberts LE, Hoke M (1998) Increased auditory cortical representation in musicians. Nature 392(6678):811CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Raab DH (1962) Division of psychology: statistical facilitation of simple reaction times. Trans NY Acad Sci 24(5):574–590CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Rouger J, Lagleyre S, Fraysse B, Deneve S, Deguine O, Barone P (2007) Evidence that cochlear-implanted deaf patients are better multisensory integrators. Proc Natl Acad Sci 104(17):7295–7300CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Simpson WA (1988) The method of constant stimuli is efficient. Percept Psychophys 44(5):433–436CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Spiegel MF, Watson CS (1984) Performance on frequency-discrimination tasks by musicians and nonmusicians. J Acoust Soc Am 76(6):1690–1695CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Strait DL, Kraus N, Parbery-Clark A, Ashley R (2010) Musical experience shapes top-down auditory mechanisms: evidence from masking and auditory attention performance. Hear Res 261(1–2):22–29CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Tervaniemi M, Just V, Koelsch S, Widmann A, Schröger E (2005) Pitch discrimination accuracy in musicians vs nonmusicians: an event-related potential and behavioral study. Exp Brain Res 161(1):1–10CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Young GW, Murphy D, Weeter J (2017) Haptics in music: the effects of vibrotactile stimulus in low frequency auditory difference detection tasks. IEEE Trans Haptics 10(1):135–139CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.École d’orthophonie et d’audiologieUniversité de MontréalMontréalCanada
  2. 2.Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck SurgeryMcGill UniversityMontréalCanada

Personalised recommendations