Musicians’ brains are considered to be a functional model of neuroplasticity due to the structural and functional changes associated with long-term musical training. In this study, we examined implicit extraction of statistical regularities from a continuous stream of stimuli—statistical learning (SL). We investigated whether long-term musical training is associated with better extraction of statistical cues in an auditory SL (aSL) task and a visual SL (vSL) task—both using the embedded triplet paradigm. Online measures, characterized by event related potentials (ERPs), were recorded during a familiarization phase while participants were exposed to a continuous stream of individually presented pure tones in the aSL task or individually presented cartoon figures in the vSL task. Unbeknown to participants, the stream was composed of triplets. Musicians showed advantages when compared to non-musicians in the online measure (early N1 and N400 triplet onset effects) during the aSL task. However, there were no differences between musicians and non-musicians for the vSL task. Results from the current study show that musical training is associated with enhancements in extraction of statistical cues only in the auditory domain.
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- online segmentation
- auditory statistical learning
- visual statistical learning