the objective of this special issue of Music Perception, which includes contributions from researchers based in Canada, Germany, New Zealand, and the US, is to present the best new research on associations between music training and nonmusical abilities. Scholarly interest in associations between music training and nonmusical cognitive functioning has sparked much research over the past 15–20 years. The study of how far associations between music training and cognitive abilities extend, and whether such associations are more likely for some domains of cognition than for others, has theoretical relevance for issues of transfer, modularity, and plasticity. Unlike most other areas of scientific inquiry, there is parallel interest on the part of the public, the media, and educators who want to know if nonmusical intellectual and academic benefits are a welcome by-product of sending children to music lessons. Indeed, some educators and arts advocates justify music training in schools precisely because of these presumed and desired nonmusical associations.
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