The linguistic benefits of musical abilities

Trends Cogn Sci. 2007 Sep;11(9):369-72. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2007.08.003. Epub 2007 Aug 16.


Growing evidence points to a link between musical abilities and certain phonetic and prosodic skills in language. However, the mechanisms that underlie these relations are not well understood. A recent study by Wong et al. suggests that musical training sharpens the subcortical encoding of linguistic pitch patterns. We consider the implications of their methods and findings for establishing a link between musical training and phonetic abilities more generally.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Association Learning / physiology*
  • Auditory Perception / physiology*
  • Evoked Potentials, Auditory / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Language*
  • Music*
  • Phonetics
  • Speech Perception / physiology