Audition, learning and experience: expertise through development

Carey, Daniel (2015) Audition, learning and experience: expertise through development. PhD thesis, Birkbeck, University of London.

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Abstract

Our experience with the auditory world can shape and modify perceptual, cognitive and neural processes with respect to audition. Such experience can occur over multiple timescales, and can vary in its specificity and intensity. In order to understand how auditory perceptual, cognitive and neural processes develop, it is important to explore the different means through which experience can influence audition. This thesis aims to address these issues. Using an expertise framework, we explore how the auditory environment and ontogenetic factors can shape and guide perceptual, cognitive and neural processes through long- and short-term profiles of experience. In early chapters, we use expertly-trained musicians as a model for long-term experience accrued under specific auditory constraints. We find that expertise on a particular instrument (violin versus piano) yields training-specific auditory perceptual advantages in a musical context, as well as improvements to ‘low-level’ auditory acuity (versus non-musicians); yet we find limited generalisation of expertise to cognitive tasks that require some of the skills that musicians hone. In a subsequent chapter, we find that expert violinists (versus non-musicians) show subtle increases in quantitative MR proxies for cortical myelin at left auditory core. In latter chapters, we explore short-term sound learning. We ask whether listeners can learn combinations of auditory cues within an active visuo-spatial task, and whether development can mediate learning of auditory cue combinations or costs due to cue contingency violations. We show that auditory cue combinations can be learned within periods of minutes. However, we find wide variation in cue learning success across all experiments, with no differences in overall cue combination learning between children and adults. These experiments help to further understanding of auditory expertise, learning, development and plasticity, within an experience-based framework.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: Date of PhD award confirmed as 2015 by registry
Copyright Holders: The copyright of this thesis rests with the author, who asserts his/her right to be known as such according to the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. No dealing with the thesis contrary to the copyright or moral rights of the author is permitted.
School/Department: School of Social Sciences, History & Philosophy > Psychosocial Studies
Depositing User: ORBIT Editor
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2015 12:16
Last Modified: 02 Dec 2016 12:47
URI: http://bbktheses.da.ulcc.ac.uk/id/eprint/107

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