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Expert pianists do not listen: The expertise-dependent influence of temporal perturbation on the production of sequential movements

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van der Steen,  M. C.
Institute of Music Physiology and Musicians' Medicine, Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media, Germany;
Max Planck Research Group Music Cognition and Action, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

van der Steen, M. C., Molendijk, E. B. D., Altenmüller, E., & Furuya, S. (2014). Expert pianists do not listen: The expertise-dependent influence of temporal perturbation on the production of sequential movements. Neuroscience, 269, 290-298. doi:10.1016/j.neuroscience.2014.03.058.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0019-0B02-8
Abstract
Auditory information plays an important role in fine motor control such as speech and musical performance. The purpose of this study was to assess expertise-dependent differences in the role of temporal information of auditory feedback in the production of sequential movements. Differences in motor responses to the transient delay of tone production during musical performance between expert pianists and non-musicians were evaluated. Compared to expert pianists, non-musicians showed more pronounced movement disruptions following the delayed auditory feedback. For example, in response to a perturbation the inter-keystroke interval was prolonged and the key-press was longer in non-musicians, while the expert pianist marginally shortened both measures. These distinct differences between groups suggest that extensive musical training influences feedback control in sequential finger movements. Furthermore, there was a significant positive correlation between the age at which the expert pianists commenced their musical training and the amount of disruption. Overall, these findings suggest that expert pianists have a higher level of robustness against perturbations and depend less on auditory feedback during the performance of sequential movements.