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Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Graduate Studies

First Advisor

Roseann Hannon

First Committee Member

Martin T. Gipson

Second Committee Member

Kenneth Beauchamp


Cu,rrent research has suggested that musical stimuli are processed in the right hemisphere except in musicians, in whom there is an increased involvement of the left hemisphere. The present study hypothesized that the more musical training persons receive, the 1 more they will rely on an analytic/left hemispheric processing strategy. The subjects were 10 faculty and 10 student nonmusicians, and 10 faculty and 10 student musicians. All subjects listened to a series of melodies (some recurring and some not) and excerpts (some real and some fake) in one ear and to a different series of melodies in the other ear. The task was to identify recurring vs. nonrecurring melodies and real vs. fake excerpts. For student musicians, there was a_ left ear/right hemispheric advantage for melody recognition, while for student nonmusicians, the situation was the reverse. Neither faculty group showed any ear preference. There were no significant differences for excerpt recognition. Two plausible explanations of the faculty performance were discussed in terms of a maturation factor and a functionally more integrated hemispheric approach to the task .



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