The music of language: an ERP investigation of the effects of musical training on emotional prosody processing.Brain Lang. 2015 Jan; 140:24-34.BL
Recent studies have demonstrated the positive effects of musical training on the perception of vocally expressed emotion. This study investigated the effects of musical training on event-related potential (ERP) correlates of emotional prosody processing. Fourteen musicians and fourteen control subjects listened to 228 sentences with neutral semantic content, differing in prosody (one third with neutral, one third with happy and one third with angry intonation), with intelligible semantic content (semantic content condition--SCC) and unintelligible semantic content (pure prosody condition--PPC). Reduced P50 amplitude was found in musicians. A difference between SCC and PPC conditions was found in P50 and N100 amplitude in non-musicians only, and in P200 amplitude in musicians only. Furthermore, musicians were more accurate in recognizing angry prosody in PPC sentences. These findings suggest that auditory expertise characterizing extensive musical training may impact different stages of vocal emotional processing.