Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

MS Experimental Psychology




Marianne E. Lloyd

Committee Member

Kelly M. Goedert

Committee Member

Janine Buckner


Music, Language, Artificial music grammar


Research regarding the brain mechanisms that underlie music and language processing supports two main interpretations: domain-specificity and domain-generality. Evidence from neuropsychology literature, specifically from amusia research, supports domain-specific mechanisms (Peretz & Coltheart, 2003) but recent neuroimaging and behavioral evidence supports overlapping mechanisms, especially for syntax processing (Patel, 2008). The present study used an artificial music grammar in order to test participants' ability to learn a new music grammar as well as to observe a possible interaction between music and language syntax processing. Although participants were able to learn the artificial music grammar, a language task was not affected by errors in the new grammar as has been found with Western music-syntax errors (Sieve, Rosenberg, & Patel, 2009). Future research should consider extending exposure to the artificial grammar to allow for better learning in order for errors in the new grammar to affect the processing of language syntax.



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