Does musical stimulus in memory recognition tasks affect musicians and non-musicians differently?
Haefliger, Anna Berenika
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Abstract: Music and its different forms of use seem to benefit people in a number of ways. Research has suggested that extensive musical practice and musical listening enhances mental functioning in healthy adults and patients with neurodegenerative disease. Yet, the findings presented have not yet examined the effects both musical training and stimuli enhancement have on episodic memory recognition. 20 musicians and 20 non-musicians took part in an episodic memory task which evaluated memory recognition of unfamiliar children’s song lyrics presented to them in sung and spoken recordings and an equivalent visual representation. We predicted musicians to perform better on episodic memory recognition of sung and spoken song lyrics than non-musicians. Also, we anticipated the sung stimuli to enhance performance of musicians and non-musicians in episodic memory recognition task. Our results revealed that musicians and non-musicians did not differ on their performance of episodic memory recognition. Furthermore, the sung stimuli did not lead to an improvement in memory recognition in both groups of participants. These findings could attribute to the evidence that musical training and musical enhancement do not bear relationship to improving episodic memory performance of normal adults, since hippocampal areas responsible for encoding and processing of episodic information are not impaired.