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A shared resource for syntactic processing in music and language: Evidence from musicians/non-musicians using local cue manipulation

Fereday, Richard (2011) A shared resource for syntactic processing in music and language: Evidence from musicians/non-musicians using local cue manipulation. University of Glamorgan.

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Abstract

Patel’s (2003) Shared Syntactic Integration Resource Hypothesis (SSIRH) claims that music and language are represented separately yet are processed according shared networks. According to the model, music and language place syntactic demands on this limited processing resource. The current study aims to test this hypothesis by combining linguistic ambiguity (sentences based on minimal attachment theory) and musical ambiguity (presentation of a non-diatonic chord sequence). The study extends previous research by manipulating local processing cues and examining musician/non-musician differences. A self-paced paradigm is used to present linguistic and musical stimuli, with on-line and off-line measures taken (response times and question accuracies, respectively). Main findings reveal longer processing times for ambiguous stimuli; a significant yet contrary result for condition (faster response times for concurrent music/language tasks); and a partial effect for local musical cue manipulation. The findings suggest a new direction for research into the SSIRH and possible applied benefits.

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