The present study was designed to examine the general notion that temporal information processing is more accurate in musicians than in nonmusicians. For this purpose, 36 academically trained musicians and 36 nonmusicians performed seven different auditory temporal tasks. Superior temporal acuity for musicians compared to nonmusicians was shown for auditory fusion, rhythm perception, and three temporal discrimination tasks. The two groups did not differ, however, in terms of their performance on two tasks of temporal generalization. Musicians’superior performance appeared to be limited to aspects of timing which are considered to be automatically and immediately derived from online perceptual processing of temporal information. Unlike immediate online processing of temporal information, temporal generalizations, which involve a reference memory of sorts, seemed not to be influenced by extensive music training.
- interval timing
- rhythm perception
- auditory fusion
- dimensional structure of temporal information processing
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