Abnormal pitch—time interference in congenital amusia: Evidence from an implicit test

Micha Pfeuty, Isabelle Peretz
Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics. 2010-04-01; 72(3): 763-774
DOI: 10.3758/APP.72.3.763

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1. Atten Percept Psychophys. 2010 Apr;72(3):763-74. doi: 10.3758/APP.72.3.763.

Abnormal pitch–time interference in congenital amusia: evidence from an
implicit test.

Pfeuty M(1), Peretz I.

Author information:
(1)Université Victor Segalen, Bordeaux, France.

Congenital amusia, characterized by a severe problem in detecting anomalies in
melodies, is a lifelong disorder that has been ascribed to an acoustical pitch
deficit. In the present study, we investigated how the perception of a duration
is altered when it is bounded by tones varying in pitch. The results show that
temporal accuracy is impaired by pitch variations as small as a quarter of a
semitone in control participants, whereas it is impaired only when pitch
variations are increased to 4 semitones in congenital amusics. Furthermore,
control participants associate intervals bounded by low- and high-pitched tones
with long and short durations, respectively. Amusic participants do not make
this connection, even with large pitch differences, pointing to a deficit in
pitch-time integration. Thus, our results are consistent with the notion that
congenital amusia is linked to a neurogenetic anomaly that impairs pitch
processing, independently of task factors.

DOI: 10.3758/APP.72.3.763
PMID: 20348581 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Auteurs Bordeaux Neurocampus