Musical training during early childhood enhances the neural encoding of speech in noise

Dana L. Strait, Alexandra Parbery-Clark, Emily Hittner, Nina Kraus*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

117 Scopus citations

Abstract

For children, learning often occurs in the presence of background noise. As such, there is growing desire to improve a child's access to a target signal in noise. Given adult musicians' perceptual and neural speech-in-noise enhancements, we asked whether similar effects are present in musically-trained children. We assessed the perception and subcortical processing of speech in noise and related cognitive abilities in musician and nonmusician children that were matched for a variety of overarching factors. Outcomes reveal that musicians' advantages for processing speech in noise are present during pivotal developmental years. Supported by correlations between auditory working memory and attention and auditory brainstem response properties, we propose that musicians' perceptual and neural enhancements are driven in a top-down manner by strengthened cognitive abilities with training. Our results may be considered by professionals involved in the remediation of language-based learning deficits, which are often characterized by poor speech perception in noise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-201
Number of pages11
JournalBrain and Language
Volume123
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2012

Keywords

  • ABR
  • Attention
  • Auditory
  • Brainstem
  • Children
  • Development
  • Memory
  • Musicians
  • Speech in noise

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Speech and Hearing

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Musical training during early childhood enhances the neural encoding of speech in noise'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this