Volume 1252, Issue 1 p. 100-107

Cognitive factors shape brain networks for auditory skills: spotlight on auditory working memory

Nina Kraus

Nina Kraus

Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory,

Institute for Neuroscience

Department of Communication Sciences

Departments of Neurobiology and Physiology, Otolaryngology, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois

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Dana L. Strait

Dana L. Strait

Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory,

Institute for Neuroscience

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Alexandra Parbery-Clark

Alexandra Parbery-Clark

Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory,

Department of Communication Sciences

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First published: 23 April 2012
Citations: 87
Nina Kraus, Frances Searle Building, 2240 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208. [email protected]; http://www.brainvolts.northwestern.edu

Abstract

Musicians benefit from real-life advantages, such as a greater ability to hear speech in noise and to remember sounds, although the biological mechanisms driving such advantages remain undetermined. Furthermore, the extent to which these advantages are a consequence of musical training or innate characteristics that predispose a given individual to pursue music training is often debated. Here, we examine biological underpinnings of musicians’ auditory advantages and the mediating role of auditory working memory. Results from our laboratory are presented within a framework that emphasizes auditory working memory as a major factor in the neural processing of sound. Within this framework, we provide evidence for music training as a contributing source of these abilities.