Investigating a possible "musician advantage" for speech-in-speech perception: The role of f0 separation

Michelle D. Cohn


Does listeners' musical experience improve their ability to perceive speech-in-speech? In the present experiment, musicians and nonmusicians heard two sentences played simultaneously: a target and a masker sentence that varied in terms of fundamental frequency (f0) separation. Results reveal that accuracy in identifying the target sentence was highest for younger musicians (relative to younger nonmusicians). No such difference was observed between older musicians and nonmusicians. These results provide support for musicians' purported advantage for speech-in-speech – but the advantage is limited by listener age. This work is relevant to our understanding of cross-domain transfer of nonlinguistic experience on speech perception.


speech-in-speech perception; fundamental frequency; cross-domain plasticity

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Copyright (c) 2018 Michelle D. Cohn

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