Absolute pitch in infant auditory learning: evidence for developmental reorganization.

TitleAbsolute pitch in infant auditory learning: evidence for developmental reorganization.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2001
AuthorsSaffran JR, Griepentrog GJ
JournalDev Psychol
Volume37
Issue1
Pagination74-85
Date Published2001 Jan
ISSN0012-1649
KeywordsAdult, Age Factors, Auditory Perception, Child Development, Female, Humans, Infant, Infant Behavior, Male, Memory, Music
Abstract

To what extent do infants represent the absolute pitches of complex auditory stimuli? Two experiments with 8-month-old infants examined the use of absolute and relative pitch cues in a tone-sequence statistical learning task. The results suggest that, given unsegmented stimuli that do not conform to the rules of musical composition, infants are more likely to track patterns of absolute pitches than of relative pitches. A 3rd experiment tested adults with or without musical training on the same statistical learning tasks used in the infant experiments. Unlike the infants, adult listeners relied primarily on relative pitch cues. These results suggest a shift from an initial focus on absolute pitch to the eventual dominance of relative pitch, which, it is argued, is more useful for both music and speech processing.

Alternate JournalDev Psychol
PubMed ID11206435
Grant ListHD03352 / HD / NICHD NIH HHS / United States