Document Type

Thesis

Date of Degree Completion

Summer 2015

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Experimental Psychology

Committee Chair

Dr. Ralf Greenwald

Second Committee Member

Dr. Susan Lonborg

Third Committee Member

Dr. Jeffrey Snedeker

Abstract

The current study examines the P300 brainwave and working memory differences between musicians and non-musicians. Differences in aspects of recorded electrical brain activity have been used to quantify differences in updating processes of working memory possibly related to differences in amount of music experience. The current study is designed to partially replicate and enhance a method previously implemented in research describing how music experience may be associated with differences in visual processing as well auditory working memory and executive function. Behavioral data were collected using six standardized subtest measures of the TOMAL – II, followed by ERP recordings during a visual oddball task. The results from the current study confirmed hypotheses that musicians score higher on working memory task especially related to executive functioning and record differences in P300 mean amplitude and peak latencies. Overall, these findings suggest that greater amounts of music experience lead to stimulus processing differences related to working memory.