RECENTLY, WE POINTED OUT THAT A SMALL number of individuals fail to acquire basic musical abilities, and that these deficiencies might have neuronal and genetic underpinnings. Such a musical disorder is now termed "congenital amusia," an umbrella term for lifelong musical disabilities that cannot be attributed to mental retardation, deafness, or lack of exposure. Congenital amusia is a condition that is estimated to affect 4% of the general population. Despite this relatively high prevalence, cases of congenital amusia have been difficult to identify.We present here a novel on-line test that can be used to identify such cases in 15 minutes, provided that the cohort of the participant is taken into account. The results also confirm that congenital amusia is typically expressed by a deficit in perceiving musical pitch but not musical time.
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