Preferred Name

Victoria A. André

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

ORCID

https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8337-9292

Date of Award

Spring 2019

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Audiology (AuD)

Department

Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders

Advisor(s)

Yingjiu Nie

Ayaskanta Rout

Rory DePaolis

Abstract

The current study aimed to explore normal-hearing children's ability to utilize pitch and timbre cues and how these findings correlate with neurocognitive factors. Participants were recruited if they had English as their first language and no formal musical training or 3+ years of formal musical training. Twenty normal-hearing children, age 7.5-14.5 years (mean = 10.5; n=20) were recruited for the study. Nonverbal intelligence, receptive vocabulary, and auditory working memory were assessed using subtests of the Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test-2, Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-4, and Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing-2, respectively. Raw scores were used to analyze these neurocognitive abilities in each participant. The Angel SoundTM program was employed for the remainder of testing. The Sung Speech Corpus (SSC) was used to present sequences composed of five monosyllabic words or five piano notes, created with various pitch contours and timbre complexities. The Melodic Contour Identification (MCI) task was presented only in the quiet condition. Element identification (Element ID) was tested at 0 dB SNR and +3 dB SNR. Musicians performed significantly better on the MCI task than non-musicians but there was no difference on the Element ID task, consistent with previous literature. Musicians performed significantly better on all neurocognitive tasks than their non-musician peers. An order effect was seen on the Element ID task with participants significantly better at the recall of the last element compared to the first or fourth elements. Receptive vocabulary and auditory working memory were found to be significant predictors of performance on several elements of the Element ID task.

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