How does Music Reading Expertise Modulate English word processing?
- Dr Janet Hsiao, Department of Psychology, The University of Hong Kong
Thu 27 Apr 2017, 4:00 pm
Room 4.04, 4/F Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU
Recent research has suggested that music reading and English word reading may share similar neural mechanisms. Nevertheless, it remains unclear how music reading experience influences English word processing. In a divided visual field study of English word naming, we found that whereas non-musicians showed a typical right visual field/left hemisphere advantage, musicians showed a left visual field /right hemisphere advantage and responded significantly faster than non-musicians in both the left visual field and the centre position. In a follow-up EEG study, in which participants matched English real, pseudo, and non-words preceded by musical segments or novel symbol strings, we found that musicians showed smaller N170 amplitude in response to English non-words preceded by musical segments than by novel symbol strings in the right hemisphere. This effect was not observed in real or pseudo-words, or in any of non-musicians’ responses. Similar to English non-words, musical segments do not have morphological rules or lexical information, giving rise to this modulation effect. Together these findings suggested a shared visual processing mechanism in the right hemisphere between music notation and English non-word reading, which may be related to serial symbol processing as suggested by previous studies. This shared mechanism may consequently facilitate English word processing in the right hemisphere in musicians.
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