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Yetta Kwailing Wong, Alan C.-N. Wong; Music-reading training alleviates crowding with musical notation. Journal of Vision 2016;16(8):15. doi: 10.1167/16.8.15.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Crowding refers to the disrupted recognition of an object by nearby distractors. Prior work has shown that real-world music-reading experts experience reduced crowding specifically for musical stimuli. However, it is unclear whether music-reading training reduced the magnitude of crowding or whether individuals showing less crowding are more likely to learn and excel in music reading later. To examine the first possibility, we tested whether crowding can be alleviated by music-reading training in the laboratory. Intermediate-level music readers completed 8 hr of music-reading training within 2 weeks. Their threshold duration for reading musical notes dropped by 44.1% after training to a level comparable with that of extant expert music readers. Importantly, crowding was reduced with musical stimuli but not with the nonmusical stimuli Landolt Cs. In sum, the reduced crowding for musical stimuli in expert music readers can be explained by music-reading training.
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