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No Influence of Musicianship on the Effect of Contralateral Stimulation on Frequency Selectivity.

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Tarnowska, Emilia 
Wicher, Andrzej 


The efferent system may control the gain of the cochlea and thereby influence frequency selectivity. This effect can be assessed using contralateral stimulation (CS) applied to the ear opposite to that used to assess frequency selectivity. The effect of CS may be stronger for musicians than for nonmusicians. To assess whether this was the case, psychophysical tuning curves (PTCs) were compared for 12 musicians and 12 nonmusicians. The PTCs were measured with and without a 60-dB sound pressure level (SPL) pink-noise CS, using signal frequencies of 2 and 4 kHz. The sharpness of the PTCs was quantified using the measure Q10, the signal frequency divided by the PTC bandwidth measured 10 dB above the level at the tip. Q10 values were lower in the presence of the CS, but this effect did not differ significantly for musicians and nonmusicians. The main effect of group (musicians vs. nonmusicians) on the Q10 values was not significant. Overall, these results do not support the idea that musicianship enhances contralateral efferent gain control as measured using the effect of CS on PTCs.



efferent system, frequency selectivity, laterality, musicianship, psychophysical tuning curve, Acoustic Stimulation, Cochlea, Humans, Music, Noise, Perceptual Masking

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Trends Hear

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SAGE Publications
Medical Research Council (G0701870)
Medical Research Council (G8717539)