Suppressing reflexive behaviour: Saccadic eye movements in musicians and non-musicians
Gruhn, W., Litt, F., Scherer, A., Schumann, T., Weiss, E. M. & Gebhardt, C. (2006). Suppressing reflexive behaviour: Saccadic eye movements in musicians and non-musicians. Musicae Scientiae, 10(1), 19-32.
Musicians who practice from notation and sight read every day can be said to perform a special eye training and could therefore possibly be distinguished from non-musicians. If a difference between both groups could be demonstrated it would be interesting to know whether this difference remains stable over the entire life span. In a cross-sectional study we tested 115 participants of three age groups (36 pupils M= 11.5 years, 41 university students M= 23.1 years, 38 adults M= 55.6 years) and varying degrees of musical training (57 were musicians) with respect to their saccadic eye movements (overlap and anti gap paradigm). An infra-red beam helmet (Express Eye) was used to collect data for the reaction time of pro and anti saccades, mean distribution, percentage of express saccades, correction time, and percentage of directional errors. Data were analyzed separately for each age group and served as factors for fixation and voluntary control. Data from measures of general intelligence (Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices), music aptitude (Gordon's Advanced Measures of Music Audiation), handedness, and sight reading were used as covariates. The data exhibit an advantage for musicians regarding those parameters that involve involuntary control and fixation. But in general there is no evidence to show that music aptitude and saccadic behavior interact. ...
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