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Poster E111

Music training mitigates age-related changes in mismatch negativity and precision in auditory memory

Poster Session E - Monday, April 15, 2024, 2:30 – 4:30 pm EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Ricky Chow1,2, Jennifer Bugos1,2,3, Shimin Mo2,4, R. Shayna Rosenbaum1,2, Claude Alain2,4; 1York University, 2Rotman Research Institute, 3University of South Florida, 4University of Toronto

Musical training is associated with enhanced auditory perception and domain-general cognitive abilities. Research has demonstrated cognitive advantages from musical engagement, (e.g., inhibitory control) present throughout the lifespan, but whether this applies to perception in older age is unclear. We investigated if and how music training enhances precision in perception in 26 older amateur and professional musicians (62–85 years, 13 females) and 25 older non-musicians (61–82 years, 16 females). Participants were administered a novel paradigm of auditory mnemonic discrimination while electroencephalography was recorded. The mismatch negativity (MMN), an event-related potential of change detection, was measured using a passive auditory oddball paradigm with standard and deviant pure-tone sequences differing in pitch contour. After exposure, all participants completed an incidental memory test for targets amongst similar lure sequences (matched for frequency but differing in contour) and dissimilar foil sequences (differing in frequency and contour). Compared to non-musicians, musicians showed enhanced MMN amplitudes and better memory discriminability for targets compared to lures and foils. Findings suggest better precision in perception and auditory memory performance in older adult musicians as compared to non-musicians. Given age-related declines in both perception and memory, findings suggest contributions of musical engagement to cognitive reserve in support of healthy neurocognitive aging. Future research is necessary to examine the causal mechanisms of perceptual and cognitive benefits associated with music training.

Topic Area: PERCEPTION & ACTION: Development & aging


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