Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Distinguishing Tones

Scroll down this grab bag article to the second headline for a report on brain research done with people who have trouble distinguishing tones. Basically it's all brain wiring, and the basic fact of all the new brain research is that we can rewire things through behavior. Here are a few snips:

. . .  "The better you can tell the difference between two tones, the larger that particular brain pathway was," Loui said. The findings do not mean there is no hope for tone deaf people, however. "I think there's a lot of music training in general that could help enlarge these pathways," Loui said. . . .

. . . In fact, a treatment for tone deafness might also help people with speech disorders such as dyslexia, she said. There has been evidence that people with dyslexia have same auditory processing problems as people with tone deafness, she said. Her lab showed last year that children with musical training performed better on dyslexia tests. . . .

. . . .In theory, in Deutsch's view (talking about perfect pitch), it should be as easy to call a pitch "F" as it is to say that an object is red or blue. "If you assume that there's something missing in our environment in terms of early exposure to the right types of sounds, and that it is bundled in with speech, then the whole thing makes sense," she said.

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