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ERIC Number: EJ896385
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Sep
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0006-8950
Congenital Amusia in Speakers of a Tone Language: Association with Lexical Tone Agnosia
Nan, Yun; Sun, Yanan; Peretz, Isabelle
Brain, v133 n9 p2635-2642 Sep 2010
Congenital amusia is a neurogenetic disorder that affects the processing of musical pitch in speakers of non-tonal languages like English and French. We assessed whether this musical disorder exists among speakers of Mandarin Chinese who use pitch to alter the meaning of words. Using the Montreal Battery of Evaluation of Amusia, we tested 117 healthy young Mandarin speakers with no self-declared musical problems and 22 individuals who reported musical difficulties and scored two standard deviations below the mean obtained by the Mandarin speakers without amusia. These 22 amusic individuals showed a similar pattern of musical impairment as did amusic speakers of non-tonal languages, by exhibiting a more pronounced deficit in melody than in rhythm processing. Furthermore, nearly half the tested amusics had impairments in the discrimination and identification of Mandarin lexical tones. Six showed marked impairments, displaying what could be called lexical tone agnosia, but had normal tone production. Our results show that speakers of tone languages such as Mandarin may experience musical pitch disorder despite early exposure to speech-relevant pitch contrasts. The observed association between the musical disorder and lexical tone difficulty indicates that the pitch disorder as defining congenital amusia is not specific to music or culture but is rather general in nature.
Oxford University Press. Great Clarendon Street, Oxford, OX2 6DP, UK. Tel: +44-1865-353907; Fax: +44-1865-353485; e-mail: jnls.cust.serv@oxfordjournals.org; Web site: http://brain.oxfordjournals.org/
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A