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Memory disorders and vocal performance

Authors

  • Simone Dalla Bella,

    1. EuroMov, Movement to Health Laboratory, University of Montpellier-1, Montpellier, France.
    2. Department of Cognitive Psychology, University of Finance and Management, Warsaw, Poland.
    3. International Laboratory for Brain, Music, and Sound Research (BRAMS), Montreal, Canada
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  • Alexandra Tremblay-Champoux,

    1. International Laboratory for Brain, Music, and Sound Research (BRAMS), Montreal, Canada
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  • Magdalena Berkowska,

    1. Department of Cognitive Psychology, University of Finance and Management, Warsaw, Poland.
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  • Isabelle Peretz

    1. International Laboratory for Brain, Music, and Sound Research (BRAMS), Montreal, Canada
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Simone Dalla Bella, EuroMov, Movement to Health Laboratory (M2H), University of Montpellier-1, 700 Avenue du Pic Saint Loup, 34090 Montpellier, France. simone.dalla-bella@univ-montp1.fr

Abstract

The ability to carry a tune, natural for the majority, is underpinned by a complex functional system (i.e., the vocal sensorimotor loop, VSL). The VSL involves various components, including perceptual mechanisms, auditory-motor mapping, motor control, and memory. The malfunction of one of these components can bring about poor-pitch singing. So far, disturbed perception and deficient sensorimotor mapping have been treated as important causes of poor singing. Yet, memory has been paid relatively little attention. Here, we review results obtained from both occasional singers and individuals suffering from congenital amusia, who were asked to produce from memory or imitate a well-known melody under conditions with different memory loads. The findings point to memory as a relevant source of impairment in poor-pitch singing and to imitation as a useful aid for poor singers.

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