Musical expertise: evidence from a pilot study on reaction times and time/frequency oscillatory responses

Giuseppe Caravaglios, Giuseppe Castro, Davide Crivelli, Daniela De Filippis, Emma Gabriella Muscoso, Giulia Di Maria, Cristina Di Pietro, Marinella Coco, Vincenzo Perciavalle, Michela Balconi

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1 Citazioni (Scopus)


The present study aimed at exploring adaptive mechanisms underlying the development of musical competence and, in particular, at qualifying and quantifying differences in cognitive functioning between people with and without musical training, as measured by electroencephalographic (EEG) and behavioral responses during an experimental task tapping into attention and monitoring mechanisms. Eighteen participants took part in the study. EEG responses to an omitted tone task were processed to compute their spatial components and time/frequency dynamics (power spectra, event-related spectral perturbation, and inter-trial coherence). In general, musicians showed greater EEG reactivity than control participants, which might signal adaptive changes linked to trained musical competence. Furthermore, musicians also performed better than controls, suggesting greater cognitive efficiency. Present findings also provide evidence that EEG is a valuable tool to help our understanding of adaptive mechanisms fostered by musical training and that it may complement behavioral methods to test performance.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)84-107
Numero di pagine24
RivistaPsychology of Music
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2021


  • EEG
  • ERSP
  • ITC
  • cognitive performance
  • musical expertise
  • power spectrum


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