Date of Completion

Spring 4-30-2019

Thesis Advisor(s)

Emily B. Myers; Li Wang

Honors Major

Physiology and Neurobiology


Adult non-native speech perception is susceptible to influence from a variety of factors, including those that go beyond the linguistic domain, such as musical experience. Several studies have been interested in the pronounced link between long-term music training and linguistic processing. The aim for the current study is to further investigate this link, and demonstrate the impact of musical experience on the learning of non-native speech sounds, particularly following sleep consolidation. In addition to looking at musical training experience, an objective measure of musical skills including melody, tuning, accent, and tempo was incorporated to allow for more specific analyses of the correlations between various musical skills and language acquisition. Data indicates that there is a significant positive correlation between participants’ phonetic discrimination and performances with melody and tempo assessments following a night’s sleep. This suggests that individuals who are more attuned to melody and tempo parameters of music are better able to demonstrate retention of discrimination of non-native phonetic sounds, particularly following sleep-dependent consolidation.