Long-term musical experience and auditory and visual perceptual abilities under adverse conditions

Esperanza M. Anaya, David Pisoni, William Kronenberger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


Musicians have been shown to have enhanced speech perception in noise skills. It is unclear whether these improvements are limited to the auditory modality, as no research has examined musicians' visual perceptual abilities under degraded conditions. The current study examined associations between long-term musical experience and visual perception under noisy or degraded conditions. The performance of 11 musicians and 11 age-matched nonmusicians was compared on several auditory and visual perceptions in noise measures. Auditory perception tests included speech-in-noise tests and an environmental sound in noise test. Visual perception tasks included a fragmented sentences task, an object recognition task, and a lip-reading measure. Participants' vocabulary knowledge and nonverbal reasoning abilities were also assessed. Musicians outperformed nonmusicians on the speech perception in noise measures as well as the visual fragmented sentences task. Musicians also displayed better vocabulary knowledge in comparison to nonmusicians. Associations were found between perception of speech and visually degraded text. The findings show that long-term musical experience is associated with modality-general improvements in perceptual abilities. Possible systems supporting musicians' perceptual abilities are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2074-2081
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics

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