Do you play any musical instrument? Adult musicians show better cognitive performance in executive functions and other aspects of cognition.

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The aim of this thesis was to study the effects of musical interpretation on executive functions and other cognitive variables. In the first study, a comparison of cognitive performance between musicians and non-musicians was made. The results showed differences in favour of the musicians, for the variables of verbal working memory, processing speed, cognitive inhibition, fluid intelligence, divided attention and a go/no-go test. In the second study, a distinction of the cognitive performance of musicians with different types of training was made: rhythmic, melodic and harmonic. The musicians showed differences in cognitive performance among them, where the best results were obtained by the harmonic musicians, followed by the melodic group, and finally by the rhythmic musicians, considering comparisons between groups of musicians, and with the control group (non-musicians). The third study investigated the relationship of musical sophistication with cognitive performance. Under an updated paradigm, the measurement of musical sophistication was consider as a psychometric construct, in a ten-item questionnaire, regarding to the background in musical activities of the participants. Responding to this paradigm, the sample was built with a balanced number of participant’s musicians and non-musicians. Finally, the results showed that musical sophistication significantly explained cognitive performance (26% of variance).
Tesis (Doctor en Psicología)--Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, 2019