COGNITIVE ABILITIES OF MUSICIANS1,2


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Abstract

Summary.Playing music may involve different cognitive domains, but previous studies of musicians and patients with brain lesions have reported inconsistent associations between music performances and other cognitive functions. Fine musical performance may be associated with high executive and control functions. 21 skilled musicians and 21 age- and education-matched healthy controls with no specific musical competence were compared on attentive, executive, linguistic, perceptual, praxic, memory, and theory of mind functions, using standardized neuropsychological tests. No differences between the musicians and controls, music composers and performers, or between soloists or orchestral players were observed. In musicians, there was no correlation between the test scores and amount of music education. Findings based on these musician groups, carefully evaluated, suggest further exploration of associations of distinct components of music comprehension and expression with different cognitive functions and behavioral aspects.

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