E. Glenn Schellenberg

E. Glenn Schellenberg
University of Toronto | U of T · Department of Psychology at Mississauga

PhD

About

173
Publications
252,703
Reads
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11,823
Citations
Citations since 2016
40 Research Items
5913 Citations
20162017201820192020202120220200400600800
20162017201820192020202120220200400600800
20162017201820192020202120220200400600800
20162017201820192020202120220200400600800
Additional affiliations
July 1997 - June 1998
Dalhousie University
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
July 1993 - June 1997
University of Windsor
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
Education
August 1989 - January 1994
Cornell University
Field of study
  • Human Experimental Psychology

Publications

Publications (173)
Article
Full-text available
Using the arousal and mood hypothesis as a theoretical framework, we examined whether community-dwelling older adults (N = 132) exhibited cognitive benefits after listening to music. Participants listened to shorter (≈2.5 min) or longer (≈8 min) excerpts from recordings of happy- or sad-sounding music or from a spoken-word recording. Before and aft...
Article
Good musical abilities are typically considered to be a consequence of music training, such that they are studied in samples of formally trained individuals. Here, we asked what predicts musical abilities in the absence of music training. Participants with no formal music training (N = 190) completed the Goldsmiths Musical Sophistication Index, mea...
Article
We used implicit and explicit tasks to measure knowledge of Western harmony in musically trained and untrained Canadian children. Younger children were 6–7 years of age; older children were 10–11. On each trial, participants heard a sequence of five piano chords. The first four chords established a major-key context. The final chord was the standar...
Article
We sought to clarify the commonly accepted link between music training and cognitive ability. Professional musicians, nonprofessionals with music training, and musically untrained individuals (N = 642) completed measures of musical ability, personality, and general cognitive ability. Professional musicians scored highest on objective and self-repor...
Article
We sought to determine whether an objective test of musical ability could be successfully administered online. A sample of 754 participants was tested with an online version of the Musical Ear Test (MET), which had Melody and Rhythm subtests. Both subtests had 52 trials, each of which required participants to determine whether standard and comparis...
Preprint
We sought to determine whether an objective test of musical ability could be administered online successfully. A sample of 754 participants was tested with an online version of the Musical Ear Test (MET), which had Melody and Rhythm subtests. Both subtests had 52 trials, each of which required participants to determine whether standard and comparis...
Article
We sought to establish norms and correlates for the Musical Ear Test (MET), an objective test of musical ability. A large sample of undergraduates at a Canadian university (N > 500) took the 20-min test, which provided a Total score as well as separate scores for its Melody and Rhythm subtests. On each trial, listeners judged whether standard and c...
Article
In three experiments, listeners heard standard and comparison auditory sequences on each trial and judged whether they were the same or different. In Experiments 1 and 2, the sequences comprised chords (i.e., simultaneous combinations of pure tones) that were familiar (major), less familiar but with no sensory disso- nance (diminished), or unfamili...
Article
The development of human abilities stems from a complex interplay between genetic predispositions and environmental factors. Numerous studies have compared musicians with non‐musicians on measures of musical and non‐musical ability, frequently attributing musicians’ superior performance to their training. By ignoring preexisting differences, howeve...
Chapter
Positive correlations often emerge when researchers ask whether music lessons influence nonmusical cognitive abilities. Experimental studies tend to yield small effects, however, or results that are unlikely to generalize broadly. Here, we review recent empirical studies and suggest that future research could benefit by considering (1) whether tran...
Article
We tested theories of links between musical expertise and language ability in a sample of 6- to 9-year-old children. Language ability was measured with tests of speech perception and grammar. Musical expertise was measured with a test of musical ability that had 3 subtests (melody discrimination, rhythm discrimination, and long-term memory for musi...
Article
Although students in introductory psychology courses know that it is wrong to infer causation from correlation, scholars sometimes do so with impunity. The present study sought to test the hypothesis that the problem is systematic in studies of music training, and whether it may be attenuated or exacerbated among neuroscientists compared to behavio...
Article
Music training is widely assumed to enhance several nonmusical abilities, including speech perception, executive functions, reading, and emotion recognition. This assumption is based primarily on cross-sectional comparisons between musicians and nonmusicians. It remains unclear, however, whether training itself is necessary to explain the musician...
Article
Full-text available
Scholars debate whether musical and linguistic abilities are associated or independent. In the present study, we examined whether musical rhythm skills predict receptive grammar proficiency in childhood. In Experiment 1, 7- to 17-year-old children (N = 68) were tested on their grammar and rhythm abilities. In the grammar-comprehension task, childre...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction: Memory is affected by stimulus salience. For example, vocal melodies are remembered better than instrumental melodies, presumably because of their status as biologically significant signals. We asked whether the memorability of inherently salient vocal melodies is affected by local factors such as contextual distinctiveness. Methods:...
Article
Full-text available
Listeners remember the pitch level (key) and tempo of musical recordings they have heard multiple times. They also have long-term implicit memory for the key and tempo of novel melodies heard for the first time in the laboratory. In previous research, however, the stimulus melodies were simple and repetitive and the changes in key or tempo were lar...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter evaluates the evidence that music training leads to improved cognitive abilities. It considers whether music training is associated with measures of general cognitive abilities, visuospatial abilities, and language abilities, as well as with real-world measures such as academic achievement and healthy aging. Although positive associati...
Article
Full-text available
Individuals differ in musical competence, which we defined as the ability to perceive, remember, and discriminate sequences of tones or beats. We asked whether such differences could be explained by variables other than music training, including socioeconomic status (SES), short-term memory, general cognitive ability, and personality. In a sample o...
Article
We sought to clarify whether the positive association between music lessons and reading ability is explained better by shared resources for processing pitch and temporal information, or by general cognitive abilities. Participants were native and nonnative speakers of English with varying levels of music training. We measured reading ability (compr...
Article
Full-text available
We investigated whether musical competence was associated with the perception of foreign-language phonemes. The sample comprised adult native-speakers of English who varied in music training. The measures included tests of general cognitive abilities, melody and rhythm perception, and the perception of consonantal contrasts that were phonemic in Zu...
Data
Details about music training. (DOCX)
Article
Full-text available
After only two exposures to previously unfamiliar melodies, adults remember the tunes for over a week and the key for over a day. Here, we examined the development of long-term memory for melody and key. Listeners in three age groups (7-to 8-year-olds, 9-to 11-year-olds, and adults) heard two presentations of each of 12 unfamiliar melodies. After a...
Article
We examined whether the link between intelligence and musical expertise is better explained by formal music lessons or music aptitude. Musically trained and untrained adults completed tests of nonverbal intelligence (Raven’s Advanced Progressive Matrices) and music aptitude (Musical Ear Test). They also provided information about their history of m...
Article
Full-text available
The present study compared children's and adults' identification and discrimination of declarative questions and statements on the basis of terminal cues alone. Children (8–11 years, n = 41) and adults (n = 21) judged utterances as statements or questions from sentences with natural statement and question endings and with manipulated endings that f...
Chapter
Musical identities are central to the formation of identity in emerging adulthood. We examined how standard psychological approaches to identity apply to musical identities, and how individual differences in personality and music preferences are involved. Results from a large-scale study of undergraduates from two university campuses revealed that:...
Article
Full-text available
Terminal changes in fundamental frequency provide the most salient acoustic cues to declarative questions, but adults sometimes identify such questions from pre-terminal cues. In the present study, adults and 7- to 10-year-old children judged a single speaker’s adult- and child-directed utterances as questions or statements in a gating task with wo...
Chapter
Full-text available
Despite having received much research attention, studies of transfer effects of music lessons have predominantly involved correlational designs, which make it impos- sible to determine whether music lessons are the cause rather than consequence of improved cognitive performance. Moreover, the relatively small number of experi- mental and longitudin...
Article
Brazilian listeners (N = 303) were asked to identify emotions conveyed in 1-min instrumental excerpts from Wagner’s operas. Participants included musically untrained 7- to 10-year-olds and university students in music (musicians) or science (nonmusicians). After hearing each of eight different excerpts, listeners made a forced-choice judgment about...
Article
Full-text available
Young children are slow to master conventional intonation patterns in their yes/no questions, which may stem from imperfect understanding of the links between terminal pitch contours and pragmatic intentions. In Experiment , five- to ten-year-old children and adults were required to judge utterances as questions or statements on the basis of inton...
Article
Full-text available
Previous research reveals that vocal melodies are remembered better than instrumental renditions. Here we explored the possibility that the voice, as a highly salient stimulus, elicits greater arousal than nonvocal stimuli, resulting in greater pupil dilation for vocal than for instrumental melodies. We also explored the possibility that pupil dila...
Chapter
Full-text available
Reports that exposure to music causes benefits in nonmusical domains have received widespread attention in the mainstream media. Such reports have also influenced public policy. The so-called "Mozart effect" actually refers to two relatively distinct phenomena. One concerns short-term increases in spatial abilities that are said to occur from liste...
Article
Full-text available
We investigated if group music training in childhood is associated with prosocial skills. Children in 3rd or 4th grade who attended 10 months of music lessons taught in groups were compared to a control group of children matched for socio-economic status. All children were administered tests of prosocial skills near the beginning and end of the 10-...
Article
Objective Although deficits in memory and cognitive processing are evident in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), difficulties with social cognition and the impact of such difficulties on interpersonal functioning are poorly understood. Here, we examined the ability of women diagnosed with PTSD related to childhood abuse to discriminate affectiv...
Article
Full-text available
Nonmusicians remember vocal melodies (i.e., sung to la la) better than instrumental melodies. If greater exposure to the voice contributes to those effects, then long-term experience with instrumental timbres should elicit instrument-specific advantages. Here we evaluate this hypothesis by comparing pianists with other musicians and nonmusicians. W...
Article
Full-text available
Studies on associations between music training and cognitive abilities typically focus on the possible benefits of music lessons. Recent research suggests, however, that many of these associations stem from niche-picking tendencies, which lead certain individuals to be more likely than others to take music lessons, especially for long durations. Be...
Article
Full-text available
The identity of a melody is independent of surface features such as key (pitch level), tempo (speed), and timbre (musical instrument). We examined the duration of memory for melodies (tunes) and whether such memory is affected by changes in key, tempo, or timbre. After listening to previously unfamiliar melodies twice, participants provided recogni...
Article
Music cognition is typically studied with instrumental stimuli. Adults remember melodies better, however, when they are presented in a biologically significant timbre (i.e., the human voice) than in various instrumental timbres (Weiss, Trehub, & Schellenberg, 2012). We examined the impact of vocal timbre on children's processing of melodies. In Stu...
Article
Full-text available
Claims of beneficial side effects of music training are made for many different abilities, including verbal and visuospatial abilities, executive functions, working memory, IQ, and speech perception in particular. Such claims assume that music training causes the associations even though children who take music lessons are likely to differ from oth...
Article
Full-text available
Music is universal at least partly because it expresses emotion and regulates affect. Associations between music and emotion have been examined regularly by music psychologists. Here, we review recent findings in three areas: (a) the communication and perception of emotion in music, (b) the emotional consequences of music listening, and (c) predict...
Chapter
Full-text available
Although art is often considered to be a means for maximizing human potential, the causes and consequences of artistic experiences are poorly understood. The present chapter reviews the relevant literature concerning the consequences of participating in the arts. It is clear that training in the arts improves performance on arts-specific tasks. For...
Article
Full-text available
The goal of the present study was to ascertain whether children with normal hearing and prelingually deaf children with cochlear implants could use pitch or timing cues alone or in combination to identify familiar songs. Children 4–7 years of age were required to identify the theme songs of familiar TV shows in a simple task with excerpts that pres...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
O ouvido absoluto não facilita a memorização de melodias! ! Resumo: Um estudo recente investigou o desempenho de adultos em uma tarefa de memória musical e mostrou que melodias vocais são mais lembradas que melodias instrumentais. Usando uma tarefa semelhante, o presente estudo buscou investigar a memória musical de músicos e de não-músicos e, em s...
Article
Full-text available
A melody’s identity is determined by relations between consecutive tones in terms of pitch and duration, whereas surface features (i.e., pitch level or key, tempo, and timbre) are irrelevant. Although surface features of highly familiar recordings are encoded into memory, little is known about listeners’ mental representations of melodies heard onc...
Article
Full-text available
Although the spectrally degraded input provided by cochlear implants (CIs) is sufficient for speech perception in quiet, it poses problems for talker identification. The present study examined the ability of normally hearing (NH) children and child CI users to recognize cartoon voices while listening to spectrally degraded speech. In Experiment 1,...
Chapter
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Chapter
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Article
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Emotions have important and powerful effects on cognitive processes. Although it is well established that memory influences liking, we sought to document whether liking influences memory. A series of 6 experiments examined whether liking is related to recognition memory for novel music excerpts. In the general method, participants listened to a set...
Article
Full-text available
Although most studies that examined associations between music training and cognitive abilities had correlational designs, the prevailing bias is that music training causes improve-ments in cognition. It is also possible, however, that high-functioning children are more likely than other children to take music lessons, and that they also differ in...
Article
Full-text available
We examined the influence of incidental exposure to varied metrical patterns from different musical cultures on the perception of complex metrical structures from an unfamiliar musical culture. Adults who were familiar with Western music only (i.e., simple meters) and those who also had limited familiarity with non-Western music were tested on thei...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined the ability of prelingually deaf children with bilateral implants to identify emotion (i.e. happiness or sadness) in speech and music. Participants in Experiment 1 were 14 prelingually deaf children from 5-7 years of age who had bilateral implants and 18 normally hearing children from 4-6 years of age. They judged whether lingui...
Conference Paper
Does exposure to music have nonmusical benefits? A finding from 1993 showed that undergraduates perform better on spatial tests after listening to music composed by Mozart instead of sitting in silence or listening to relaxation instructions. Subsequent evidence revealed that the so-called “Mozart effect” is the consequence of changes in emotional...
Article
Full-text available
Music has a universal appeal that is often attributed to its ability to make us feel a certain way, and to change how we are currently feeling. In fact, music is often said to be the language of emotion. Although the body of research on music and emotions has grown rapidly over the past two decades, many issues remain the subject of debate. How is...
Article
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Theories of esthetic appreciation propose that (1) a stimulus is liked because it is expected or familiar, (2) a stimulus is liked most when it is neither too familiar nor too novel, or (3) a novel stimulus is liked because it elicits an intensified emotional response. We tested the third hypothesis by examining liking for music as a function of wh...
Article
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We examined the effect of background music on reading comprehension. Because the emotional consequences of music listening are affected by changes in tempo and intensity, we manipulated these variables to create four repeated-measures conditions: slow/low, slow/high, fast/low, fast/high. Tempo and intensity manipulations were selected to be psychol...
Article
Full-text available
Across species, there is considerable evidence of preferential processing for biologically significant signals such as conspecific vocalizations and the calls of individual conspecifics. Surprisingly, music cognition in human listeners is typically studied with stimuli that are relatively low in biological significance, such as instrumental sounds....
Article
Full-text available
Some musical characteristics are cues to happiness (fast tempo, major mode); others are cues to sadness (slow tempo, minor mode). Listening to music with inconsistent emotional cues leads to mixed feelings and perceptions, or simultaneous happy and sad responding. We examined whether emotional cues in American popular music have changed over time,...
Article
Although music is universal, there is a great deal of cultural variability in music structures. Nevertheless, some aspects of music processing generalize across cultures, whereas others rely heavily on the listening environment. Here, we discuss the development of musical knowledge, focusing on four themes: (a) capabilities that are present early i...
Article
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Children and adults with music training score higher on tests of intellectual ability than their peers without training, but it is unclear whether music lessons are associated with social or emotional functioning. We examined whether music training in childhood is predictive of understanding emotions. We administered the Test of Emotion Comprehensi...
Article
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We examined liking for excerpts of unfamiliar music taken from a wide variety of genres. The excerpts varied in tempo (fast or slow) and mode (major or minor). Listeners provided liking ratings for each excerpt as well as ratings of their emotional responses (intensity, happiness, and sadness). We also measured personality and history of music less...
Chapter
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This chapter reviews studies that examined the effects of music listening on cognitive performance. It focuses on performance after listening to music. The arousal and mood hypothesis offers an explanation of the Mozart effect that has nothing to do with Mozart or with spatial abilities. Rather, it proposes that Mozart's music is simply one example...
Article
Full-text available
From 7 years of age, listeners exhibit better memory for vocal melodies (without lyrics) than for instrumental melodies even when they have extensive instrumental training (Weiss et al., 2012, 2015a, b, 2016). In the present study, we compared adults’ memory for vocal and instrumental melodies, as before, but with two additional singers, one female...
Article
Full-text available
Temporal information provided by cochlear implants enables successful speech perception in quiet, but limited spectral information precludes comparable success in voice perception. Talker identification and speech decoding by young hearing children (5-7 yr), older hearing children (10-12 yr), and hearing adults were examined by means of vocoder sim...
Article
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Musically trained and untrained participants were administered tests of emotional intelligence and IQ. As in previous research, trained participants scored higher than untrained participants on the IQ Composite score and on its Verbal and Nonverbal subtests. The advantage for the trained group on the Composite score and on the Nonverbal subtest was...
Article
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The objective of this special issue of Music Perception, which includes contributions from re-searchers based in Canada, Germany, New Zealand, and the US, is to present the best new research on associations between music training and nonmusical abilities. Scholarly interest in associations between music training and nonmusical cognitive functioning...
Article
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Researchers have designed training methods that can be used to improve mental health and to test the efficacy of education programs. However, few studies have demonstrated broad transfer from such training to performance on untrained cognitive activities. Here we report the effects of two interactive computerized training programs developed for pre...
Article
Adults and children 5, 8, and 11 years of age listened to short excerpts of unfamiliar music that sounded happy, scary, peaceful, or sad. Listeners initially rated how much they liked each excerpt. They subsequently made a forced-choice judgment about the emotion that each excerpt conveyed. Identification accuracy was higher for young girls than fo...
Article
Although links between music training and cognitive abilities are relatively well-established, unresolved issues include the generality of the association, the direction of causation, and whether the association is mediated by executive function. Musically trained and untrained 9- to 12-year olds were compared on a measure of IQ and five measures o...
Article
This article is an author response to Bialystok's (2011) and Hargreaves and Aksentijevic's (2011) commentaries on Schellenberg (2011).
Article
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We examined emotional responding to music after mood induction. On each trial, listeners heard a 30-s music excerpt and rated how much they liked it, whether it sounded happy or sad, and how familiar it was. When the excerpts sounded unambiguously happy or sad (Experiment 1), the typical preference for happy-sounding music was eliminated after indu...
Article
Liking for a stimulus often increases with initial exposure but decreases with over-exposure. Re-analyses of previous findings revealed marked differences among individual participants who heard music at different exposure frequencies. In fact, fewer than half exhibited the inverted-U shaped pattern that were evident for listeners as a group. We ex...
Article
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Absolute pitch (AP) is the ability to identify or produce isolated musical tones. It is evident primarily among individuals who started music lessons in early childhood. Because AP requires memory for specific pitches as well as learned associations with verbal labels (i.e., note names), it represents a unique opportunity to study interactions in m...
Article
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Musical melodies are recognized on the basis of pitch and temporal relations between consecutive tones. Although some previous evidence (e.g., Saffran & Griepentrog, 2001) points to an absolute-to-relative developmental shift in listeners' perception of pitch, other evidence (e.g., Plantinga & Trainor, 2005; Schellenberg & Trehub, 2003) suggests th...
Chapter
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These two quotations reflect common attitudes about music. Tolstoy’s comment suggests that music conveys emotion, whereas Torke’s question implies that music influences listeners’ emotions. Section 5.2 of the present chapter includes a discussion of the various theoretical approaches that are used to explain affective responses to music. Few schola...
Article
The available research indicates that cochlear implant (CI) users have difficulty in differentiating talkers, especially those of the same gender. The goal of this study was to determine whether child CI users could differentiate talkers under favorable stimulus and task conditions. We predicted that the use of a highly familiar voice, full sentenc...
Article
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u n i v e r s i t y o f t o r o n t o , c a n a d a a b s t r a c t Musically trained and untrained participants were administered tests of pitch processing and general intelligence (g). Trained participants exhibited superior performance on tests of pitch-processing speed and relative pitch. They were also better at frequency discrimination with t...