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Article: Effects of culture on musical pitch perception.

TitleEffects of culture on musical pitch perception.
Authors
Issue Date2012
PublisherPublic Library of Science. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.plosone.org/home.action
Citation
Plos One, 2012, v. 7 n. 4, p. e33424 How to Cite?
AbstractThe strong association between music and speech has been supported by recent research focusing on musicians' superior abilities in second language learning and neural encoding of foreign speech sounds. However, evidence for a double association--the influence of linguistic background on music pitch processing and disorders--remains elusive. Because languages differ in their usage of elements (e.g., pitch) that are also essential for music, a unique opportunity for examining such language-to-music associations comes from a cross-cultural (linguistic) comparison of congenital amusia, a neurogenetic disorder affecting the music (pitch and rhythm) processing of about 5% of the Western population. In the present study, two populations (Hong Kong and Canada) were compared. One spoke a tone language in which differences in voice pitch correspond to differences in word meaning (in Hong Kong Cantonese, /si/ means 'teacher' and 'to try' when spoken in a high and mid pitch pattern, respectively). Using the On-line Identification Test of Congenital Amusia, we found Cantonese speakers as a group tend to show enhanced pitch perception ability compared to speakers of Canadian French and English (non-tone languages). This enhanced ability occurs in the absence of differences in rhythmic perception and persists even after relevant factors such as musical background and age were controlled. Following a common definition of amusia (5% of the population), we found Hong Kong pitch amusics also show enhanced pitch abilities relative to their Canadian counterparts. These findings not only provide critical evidence for a double association of music and speech, but also argue for the reconceptualization of communicative disorders within a cultural framework. Along with recent studies documenting cultural differences in visual perception, our auditory evidence challenges the common assumption of universality of basic mental processes and speaks to the domain generality of culture-to-perception influences.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/166118
ISSN
2015 Impact Factor: 3.057
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 1.395
PubMed Central ID
ISI Accession Number ID

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorWong, PCen_HK
dc.contributor.authorCiocca, Ven_HK
dc.contributor.authorChan, AHen_HK
dc.contributor.authorHa, LYen_HK
dc.contributor.authorTan, LHen_HK
dc.contributor.authorPeretz, Ien_HK
dc.date.accessioned2012-09-20T08:28:42Z-
dc.date.available2012-09-20T08:28:42Z-
dc.date.issued2012en_HK
dc.identifier.citationPlos One, 2012, v. 7 n. 4, p. e33424en_HK
dc.identifier.issn1932-6203en_HK
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/166118-
dc.description.abstractThe strong association between music and speech has been supported by recent research focusing on musicians' superior abilities in second language learning and neural encoding of foreign speech sounds. However, evidence for a double association--the influence of linguistic background on music pitch processing and disorders--remains elusive. Because languages differ in their usage of elements (e.g., pitch) that are also essential for music, a unique opportunity for examining such language-to-music associations comes from a cross-cultural (linguistic) comparison of congenital amusia, a neurogenetic disorder affecting the music (pitch and rhythm) processing of about 5% of the Western population. In the present study, two populations (Hong Kong and Canada) were compared. One spoke a tone language in which differences in voice pitch correspond to differences in word meaning (in Hong Kong Cantonese, /si/ means 'teacher' and 'to try' when spoken in a high and mid pitch pattern, respectively). Using the On-line Identification Test of Congenital Amusia, we found Cantonese speakers as a group tend to show enhanced pitch perception ability compared to speakers of Canadian French and English (non-tone languages). This enhanced ability occurs in the absence of differences in rhythmic perception and persists even after relevant factors such as musical background and age were controlled. Following a common definition of amusia (5% of the population), we found Hong Kong pitch amusics also show enhanced pitch abilities relative to their Canadian counterparts. These findings not only provide critical evidence for a double association of music and speech, but also argue for the reconceptualization of communicative disorders within a cultural framework. Along with recent studies documenting cultural differences in visual perception, our auditory evidence challenges the common assumption of universality of basic mental processes and speaks to the domain generality of culture-to-perception influences.en_HK
dc.languageengen_US
dc.publisherPublic Library of Science. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.plosone.org/home.actionen_HK
dc.relation.ispartofPLoS ONEen_HK
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.subject.meshCulture-
dc.subject.meshLanguage-
dc.subject.meshMusic-
dc.subject.meshPitch Perception-
dc.subject.meshSelf-Assessment-
dc.titleEffects of culture on musical pitch perception.en_HK
dc.typeArticleen_HK
dc.identifier.emailTan, LH: tanlh@hku.hken_HK
dc.identifier.authorityTan, LH=rp01202en_HK
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.1371/journal.pone.0033424en_HK
dc.identifier.pmid22509257-
dc.identifier.pmcidPMC3324485-
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-84859600876en_HK
dc.identifier.hkuros208951en_US
dc.identifier.volume7en_HK
dc.identifier.issue4en_HK
dc.identifier.spagee33424en_HK
dc.identifier.epagee33424en_HK
dc.identifier.isiWOS:000305336600011-
dc.publisher.placeUnited Statesen_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridWong, PC=14018817600en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridCiocca, V=6604000275en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridChan, AH=23766960600en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridHa, LY=46761053200en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridTan, LH=7402233462en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridPeretz, I=55338981300en_HK

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