Amusia or tone-deafness can be tested for and diagnosed in childhood

Amusia can be diagnosed using a battery of tests, the Montreal Battery for the Evaluation of Amusia (MBEA; Peretz, 2003). The first documented case of congenital amusia in childhood is described in the paper listed below. Amusia is one of a number of disorders of perception that I have written about in this blog, including prosopagnosia and agnosia for scenes, that have been theorized as being caused by a lack of connections in the brain, which could be seen as the opposite of synaesthesia. I guess that amusia, a difficulty in perceiving music, could be seen as the opposite of perfect pitch, which is an ability that appears to be associated with synaesthesia and autism.

References

Marie-Andrée Lebrun, Patricia Moreau, Andréane McNally-Gagnon, Geneviève Mignault Goulet & Isabelle Peretz Congenital amusia in childhood: A case study. Cortex. (article in press) doi:10.1016/j.cortex.2011.02.018   http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B8JH1-529MVTS-1&_user=10&_coverDate=03/04/2011&_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_orig=gateway&_origin=gateway&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_searchStrId=1726989201&_rerunOrigin=scholar.google&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=43fef257d6f2b1bfce00e36d3badb560&searchtype=a

Lauren Stewart Congenital amusia (quick guide) Current Biology. Volume 16 Issue 21 7 November 2006. Pages R904-R906.    doi:10.1016/j.cub.2006.09.054  http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6VRT-4M8WTCF-7&_user=10&_coverDate=11%2F07%2F2006&_rdoc=20&_fmt=high&_orig=browse&_origin=browse&_zone=rslt_list_item&_srch=doc-info(%23toc%236243%232006%23999839978%23636547%23FLA%23display%23Volume)&_cdi=6243&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_ct=32&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=7d8218bc925dd41d5cb5c44a89ac76b4&searchtype=a

Delosis Research Technology Musical Listening Test http://www.delosis.com/listening/home.html

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Comments

  • John W Dudley  On December 9, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    A new study by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the National Institute on Aging state that “Hearing Loss is now linked to may other health problems!” According to their studies, people with hearing loss are much more likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. This study goes on to state that “hearing loss left untreated can lead to loneliness, isolation and depression.”

    • C. Wright  On December 9, 2011 at 5:31 pm

      I don’t think that based on this info we should assume that treating hearing loss will make any associated neurodegenerative disease less likely to develop. I guess that the hearing loss and the dementia could possibly both be caused by some third unknown disorder or disease affecting the brain.

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