Music playing and memory trace: evidence from event-related potentials.Neurosci Res. 2010 Aug; 67(4):334-40.NR
We examined the relationship between motor practice and auditory memory for sound sequences to evaluate the hypothesis that practice involving physical performance might enhance auditory memory. Participants learned two unfamiliar sound sequences using different training methods. Under the key-press condition, they learned a melody while pressing a key during auditory input. Under the no-key-press condition, they listened to another melody without any key pressing. The two melodies were presented alternately, and all participants were trained in both methods. Participants were instructed to pay attention under both conditions. After training, they listened to the two melodies again without pressing keys, and ERPs were recorded. During the ERP recordings, 10% of the tones in these melodies deviated from the originals. The grand-average ERPs showed that the amplitude of mismatch negativity (MMN) elicited by deviant stimuli was larger under the key-press condition than under the no-key-press condition. This effect appeared only in the high absolute pitch group, which included those with a pronounced ability to identify a note without external reference. This result suggests that the effect of training with key pressing was mediated by individual musical skills.