Keeping Time in Mind: Working Memory and Temporal Perception in the Context of Musicianship
Noordanus, Nathanael W.
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Temporal perception is an illusive process known to recruit a variety of sensory motor and higher cognitive faculties, including auditory working memory. The present study was intended as an exploration of the relationship between working memory and temporal perception. A battery of tasks was created to test different areas of attention, working memory and temporal perception. Data were collected with the participation of 30 musicians with at least ten years of musical training and 43 non-musicians. Analysis of results found group differences in working memory for pitch and duration, as well as the use of strategies for duration judgements. No effect of musicianship was found for auditory or visual duration discrimination. This result is interpreted as extending previous literature by suggesting superior temporal sensitivity by musicians is not absolute, but rather is reliant on the opportunity for adaption to stimuli. Group differences and intertask correlations are interpreted in terms of a special relationship between auditory working memory and temporal working memory. The implications of this interpretation are briefly discussed.