Musical Ear or Musical Perception Disorder ?

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People with musical perception disorder have a hard time reproducing tunes or hearing wrong notes in a song. They might sing out of tune, but above all they do not realize it.

Agathe Pralus-Durand, postdoctoral researcher at the Neurosciences Research Centre of Lyon, explains that this disorder does not come from the ears but from the brain. Internal connexions between fronto-temporal regions are supposed to be responsible for it. Nothing definitive according to her. She is currently leading research on the subject and is looking for volunteers who will be listening to two tunes while their brain’s activity is monitored. The point is to see which regions of the brain are responsible for making the difference between both.

The volunteers will also have simple exercises to do at home on a tablet so their progress can be evaluated. Indeed, if one is born with this disorder, it is not incurable. As Pralus-Durand tells France Musique : brains are constantly evolving.

Musical perception disorder is close to amusia, which is a neurological disorder that prevents a person from perceiving rhythm and tune. This disorder is not related to any hearing difficulties. It is a disorder that no musical training can reduce.

Agathe Pralus-Durand explains that it will eventually allow us to better understand hearing mechanisms and help hearing-impaired people, for example, to better perceive their environment.

The Neurosciences Research Centre of Lyon is currently looking for volunteers to help the research. You can complete a test followed by a questionnaire to help the research at the following address.

To learn more about this, read or listen to the documentary from France Musique, in French, here :