Piano training enhances the neural processing of pitch and improves speech perception in Mandarin-speaking children

Yun Nan, Li Liu, Eveline Geiser, Hua Shu, Chen Chen Gong, Qi Dong, John D E Gabrieli, Robert Desimone. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Jun 2018.


Musical training confers advantages in speech-sound processing, which could play an important role in early childhood education. To understand the mechanisms of this effect, we used event-related potential and behavioral measures in a longitudinal design. Seventy-four Mandarin-speaking children aged 4-5 y old were pseudorandomly assigned to piano training, reading training, or a no-contact control group. Six months of piano training improved behavioral auditory word discrimination in general as…