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Peter Q Pfordresher and James T Mantell (2012)

Effects of altered auditory feedback across effector systems: Production of melodies by keyboard and singing

Acta Psychologica, 139:166-177.

We report an experiment that tested whether effects of altered auditory feedback (AAF) during piano performance differ from its effects during singing. These effector systems differ with respect to the mapping between motor gestures and pitch content of auditory feedback. Whereas this action-effect mapping is highly reliable during phonation in any vocal motor task (singing or speaking), mapping between finger movements and pitch occurs only in limited situations, such as piano playing. Effects of AAF in both tasks replicated results previously found for keyboard performance (Pfordresher, 2003), in that asynchronous (delayed) feedback slowed timing whereas alterations to feedback pitch increased error rates, and the effect of asynchronous feedback was similar in magnitude across tasks. However, manipulations of feedback pitch had larger effects on singing than on keyboard production, suggesting effector-specific differences in sensitivity to action-effect mapping with respect to feedback content. These results support the view that disruption from AAF is based on abstract, effector independent, response–effect associations but that the strength of associations differs across effector systems.

music performance, singing, auditory feedback