Musical training effect on reading musical notation: evidence from event-related potentials.
Musical training enhances a range of non-musical cognitive functions, including visuospatial abilities. The aim of this study was to explore which event-related potential (ERP) components were enhanced or reduced as a result of musical training. Both electrophysiological and behavioral methods were used to compare musicians and non-musicians in the processing of pitch and duration when reading single musical notes. It was observed that in the early stage of note reading, the musician/non-musician differences emerged in the latency range of the N1 and N2. The N1 component was enhanced; in contrast, the N2 component was reduced in musicians. It is possible that musicians receive auditory meanings from visual music notations, so they therefore did not find it necessary to spend more resources on executing spatial attention than non-musicians do during pitch processing.