JOURNAL ARTICLE

Impaired memory for pitch in congenital amusia

Nathalie Gosselin, Pierre Jolicoeur, Isabelle Peretz
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 2009, 1169: 270-2
19673791
We examined memory for pitch in congenital amusia in two tasks. In one task, we varied the pitch distance between the target and comparison tone from 4 to 9 semitones and inserted either a silence or 6 interpolated tones between the tones to be compared. In a second task, we manipulated the number of pitches to be retained in sequences of length 1, 3, or 5. Amusics' sensitivity to pitch distance was exacerbated by the presence of interpolated tones, and amusics' performance was more strongly affected by the number of pitches to maintain in memory than controls. A pitch perception deficit could not account for the pitch memory deficit of amusics.

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