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Investigating the influence of music training on verbal memory

Taylor, Alexandra C.; Dewhurst, Stephen A.


Alexandra C. Taylor


Previous research has shown that musical training is associated with enhanced verbal memory. The current study investigated the generality of this association by presenting undergraduates who had received musical training (n = 20) and undergraduates with no formal music training (n = 20) with four types of word list; high visual imagery, high auditory imagery, high tactile imagery, and abstract. Those who had received music training showed enhanced memory for all word lists, suggesting that music training leads to a general enhancement in verbal memory that is not restricted to specific types of words (e.g., those invoking auditory imagery). The findings support previous research in showing that music training enhances cognitive skills beyond those that are specific to the domain of music. The possible cognitive and neural factors underpinning this effect are discussed.


Taylor, A. C., & Dewhurst, S. A. (2017). Investigating the influence of music training on verbal memory. Psychology of music, 45(6), 814-820.

Acceptance Date Dec 22, 2016
Online Publication Date Feb 8, 2017
Publication Date 2017-11
Deposit Date Jan 23, 2017
Publicly Available Date Feb 8, 2017
Journal Psychology of music
Print ISSN 0305-7356
Electronic ISSN 1741-3087
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 45
Issue 6
Pages 814-820
Keywords Verbal memory; Music training; Expertise; Cognition; Short-term memory
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article which has been published in: Psychology of music, 2017, v.45, issue 6.


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