Cross-Domain Priming of Language and Music

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The Ohio State University

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There is much evidence that domain-general learning is possible, but understanding the breadth of possible transfer will shed light on how different processing mechanisms are related. Evidence has shown that domain-specific transfer is possible in both the language domain and the music domain such that participants can be primed with information that later affects production in that same domain. This study used rate priming to look into cross-domain transfer between the language and music domains. Participants listened to a series of 20 recordings, either language or music stimuli, to prime a fast or a slow rate. After each prime, the participants produced a short melody or picture description in the domain opposite of the prime. Participants’ rate of production was influenced by the music prime such that a faster rate of speech was spoken following a fast music prime than following a slow music prime; however, the transfer did not occur from language to music. These findings show that generalization between the music and language domains is possible supporting the presence of a shared mechanism used for processing in both domains.



generalization, rate-persistence, cross-domain