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Musical training strengthens segregation the target signal from background noise. Musicians have enhanced stream segregation, which can be considered a process similar to comodulation masking release. In the current study, we surveyed psychoacoustical comodulation masking release in musicians and non-musicians. We then recorded the brainstem responses to complex stimuli in comodulated and unmodulated maskers to investigate the effect of musical training on the neural representation of comodulation masking release for the first time. The musicians showed significantly greater amplitudes and earlier brainstem response timing for stimulus in the presence of comodulated maskers than nonmusicians. In agreement with the results of psychoacoustical experiment, musicians showed greater comodulation masking release than non-musicians. These results reveal a physiological explanation for behavioral enhancement of comodulation masking release and stream segregation in musicians.
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