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dc.creatorCentanni, Tracy M.
dc.creatorAnchan, D. M.
dc.creatorBeard, Maggie
dc.creatorBrooks, Renee
dc.creatorThompson, Lee A.
dc.creatorPetrill, Stephen A.
dc.description.abstractMusic education is associated with increased speech perception abilities and anecdotal evidence suggests musical training is also beneficial for performance in a variety of academic areas. In spite of this positive association, very little empirical evidence exists to support this claim except for a few studies linking musical training to improvements in verbal tasks. We evaluated the relationships between specific aspects of musical training/ability and scores on a series of standardized reading assessments in a sample of twins. There was a significant and positive relationship between self-reported sight-reading ability for sheet music and performance on passage comprehension - a standardized reading measure that relies on decoding and working memory. This effect was specific to sight reading ability, as other musical variables, such as number of years of practice or music theory, were not related to performance on this reading measure. Surprisingly, the verbal working memory ability we tested did not mediate this relationship. To determine whether there is a genetic component to these skills, we compared these relationships in pairs of monozygotic twins compared to dizygotic twins. Interestingly, intraclass correlations (ICCs) for sight reading and passage comprehension were both higher in monozygotic twins compared to dizygotic twins, though this effect was larger for passage comprehension than for sight reading. These results together suggest a familial and potentially partially shared inherited mechanism for success in both musical sight-reading ability and passage comprehension. Public Significance Statement: This study demonstrates a potentially shared, biological mechanism, subserving both basic reading skills as well as musical sight reading. Adolescents who were able to sight read at a high level, per self-report, scored higher on a measure of reading comprehension and decoding. These findings have implications for both music education and reading instruction.
dc.sourceFrontiers in Psychology
dc.subjectpassage comprehension
dc.titleGenetic and Environmental Influences on Decoding Skills--Implications for Music and Reading
dc.rights.holderCentanni et al.
dc.rights.licenseCC BY 4.0
local.collegeCollege of Science and Engineering
local.personsCentanni (PSYC)

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