ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

心理学报 ›› 2020, Vol. 52 ›› Issue (12): 1365-1376.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2020.01365

• 研究报告 •    下一篇


陈洁佳, 周翊, 陈杰()   

  1. 认知与人类行为湖南省重点实验室, 长沙 410081
  • 收稿日期:2020-06-14 出版日期:2020-12-25 发布日期:2020-10-26
  • 通讯作者: 陈杰
  • 基金资助:
    * 国家自然科学基金(31771240);湖南省哲学社会科学基金(15YBA263);湖南省教育厅科学研究项目(18A036)

The relationship between musical training and inhibitory control: An ERPs study

CHEN Jiejia, ZHOU Yi, CHEN Jie()   

  1. Cognition and Human Behavior Key Laboratory of Hunan Province, Changsha 410081, China
  • Received:2020-06-14 Online:2020-12-25 Published:2020-10-26
  • Contact: CHEN Jie


抑制控制是人类非常重要的认知功能之一, 它对个体适应环境具有重要的意义。本研究将抑制控制细分为反应抑制和冲突控制, 采用Go/No-go和Stroop任务从行为和脑电层面, 考察了音乐训练与抑制控制能力的关系及其认知神经机制。结果发现:在行为指标上, 音乐训练组比控制组的Stroop干扰效应更小, 但两组被试在Go/No-go任务表现上没有差异。在脑电指标上, 在Go/No-go任务中音乐训练组的N2差异波和P3差异波波幅(No-go减Go条件)显著大于控制组, 在Stroop任务中音乐训练组的N450差异波波幅(不一致减一致条件)也显著大于控制组, 但两组被试的SP差异波波幅(不一致减一致条件)无显著差异。结果表明:音乐训练组被试在反应抑制任务中可能具有更强的冲突监控和运动抑制能力, 在冲突控制任务中也具有更强的冲突监控能力。本研究从电生理的层面反映了音乐训练与抑制控制能力的提升具有一定的关联。

关键词: 音乐训练, 抑制控制, 反应抑制, 冲突控制


Inhibitory control, a fundamental component of executive function, refers to the ability to control one’s attention and suppress internal and external interferences effectively to achieve the setting targets. It plays a crucial role in allowing us to adapt to the environment, and serves as a basis of other cognitive functions, such as reasoning, planning and learning. Moreover, several psychiatric disorders, such as addictions, attention deficit hyperactivity and obsessive-compulsive disorder have been shown to involve deficits in inhibitory control. Thus, establishing ways in which inhibitory control can be improved constitutes an important issue for psychologist and medical scientist. In recent years, musical training has been suggested to be associated with improved executive functions, such as inhibitory control. However, the overall findings in these studies have been mixed. While some studies indicated a positive relationship between musical training and inhibitory control, other studies showed no facilitative effect of musical training. Importantly, however, inhibitory control is not a single function, but can be divided into response inhibition and interference control. Previous studies that assessed the relationship between musical training and inhibitory control failed to investigate these two separate components within the same experiment. Furthermore, its underlying neural mechanism remain elusive. Based on these considerations, the present study aimed to examine the relationship between musical training and inhibitory control through the Go/No-go (response inhibition) and Stroop (interference control) tasks by using event- related-potentials (ERPs).
Experiments were carried out in an acoustically and electrically shielded room, and lasted approximately 40 minutes. In the Go/No-go task, participants had to press a keyboard button in response to white shapes (Go trials, 75%), while they had to inhibit responding to purple shapes (No-go trials, 25%). Each stimulus was presented for 500 ms with an interstimulus interval of 1000 ms. The experiment consisted of 320 trials, presented in a random order. Performance was evaluated using a Signal Detection approach by calculating perceptual sensitivity via: d′ = z(No-go hit rate) - z(Go false alarm rate). Higher d’ values indicate better response inhibition. In the Stroop task, participants were presented with Chinese color words (red, green, blue, yellow), printed in different colors. Stimuli were divided into word-color consistent trails (congruent, 50%) and word-color inconsistent trails (incongruent, 50%). A stimulus was presented for 1000 ms with a random interstimulus interval of 1000~1500 ms. Participants had to name the color in which the word was presented without paying attention to the word’s meaning. The experiment consisted of 240 trials, presented in a random order. The difference between accuracy in the congruent and the incongruent conditions is referred to as Stroop interference effect. Smaller effects are indicative of better interference control. The experimental sequence was balanced between participants.
The behavioral results showed that music group had smaller interference effect than the control group in the Stroop task, while both groups performed similarly in the Go/No-go task. As for the ERP results, in Go/No-go task, the amplitudes of the N2 (N2d) and P3 difference waves, contrasting No-go and Go trials, were larger in music group than in control group. In the Stroop task, the amplitude of the N450 (N450d) difference wave, contrasting congruent and incongruent trials, were also larger in music group than in control group. However, the amplitude of the SP (SPd) difference wave, which serves as an index of conflict resolution, was similar between the two groups.
The aim of present study was to explore the influence of music training on the cognitive and neural mechanisms governing inhibitory control. The present results supported the hypothesis that individuals that received music training had stronger conflict monitoring and motor inhibition abilities when completing the response inhibition task, as well as a better conflict monitoring ability when completing the interference control task. This indicates a potential association between music training and inhibitory control.

Key words: music training, inhibitory control, response inhibition, interference control