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date: 28 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter takes a new look at an old riddle by discussing putative parallelisms between speech and music processing, as well as music to speech transfer effects. Interestingly, both speech and music rely on comparable acoustic information (i.e. timing, pitch, and timbre) and share, at least partially, perceptive, cognitive, motivational, and motor components. Importantly, in this context, the chapter introduces a cortical framework of speech processing, as well as the perceptual and cognitive operations underlying speech learning mechanisms. It then reviews previous literature pinpointing the influence of music training on segmental and suprasegmental aspects of speech processing as well as on cognitive functions. Two complementary hypotheses underlying such transfer effects—cascade effects and multidimensional processes—are proposed. The issue of shared versus distinct neural networks for music and speech processing is also discussed. Finally, the chapter integrates the often observed perceptual and cognitive advantages of musicians in a holistic framework by considering their interrelations during an ecological, valid, word-learning task.

Keywords: music training, speech processing, word learning, cognitive function, plasticity

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