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Amusia, also known as tone-deafness, is a hard discriminating pitch variation in melodies that impacts approximately 4% of the human population. Amusia can't be described as a simple sensory impairment. Musicians are impaired significantly on a visually presented mental rotation task when compared to non-musicians. Processing of pitch in music usually relies on the cognitive mechanisms that are applied to process spatial representations in other modalities (Douglas & Bilkey, 2007). The perception, appreciation and production of music are attained impulsively, with no conscious attempts and in the absence explicit training. It has been proposed that a dysfunction within fine-grained pitch insight might be at the root of the melodic discrimination difficulties in a music people.
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According to Douglas & Bilkey (2007), it is apparent that there is a bimodal distribution of scores on the counter-violated subtest of the MBEA for all objects with clear separation between groups occurring at the score of 22-23 when plotted. It is also found that there is significant difference in error rating between the two groups across tasks when comparing baseline performance on the mental rotation and animal matching tasks. There is also emergence of a striking relationship when the MBEA subset score is plotted against mental rotation. When performing the SRC pitch discrimination task in the mismatched response pattern compared to the compatible configuration were slower.
Douglas & Bilkey (20070 assert that they analyzed separately the pitch discrimination and mental rotation/animal matching component tasks in order to assess performance on the twin-disk process while data is presented with reference to the baseline version of the task for the display purpose. While a music subject completed 17.0, control subjects completed an average of 16.1 animal matching trials in the course of dual task process. However, while a music subject completed an average 17.0 trials, control subjects completed an average of 16.6 trials during the mental rotation procedure (Douglas & Bilkey, 2007). Groups of subjects who were impaired on the contour-violated separation of the MBEA were identified as a measure of amusia. A composite MBEA score that characterizes amusia has shown that scores on this subtest are consistent.