Congenital amusia and its effects on non-musical skills
Introduction. Congenital amusia is a specific condition in which the individual is unable to recognise tonal variations in a piece of musical. This cannot be explained by a previous brain injury, hearing loss, cognitive deficit, socio-affective disorder or lack of environmental stimulation. The current estimated prevalence is 1.5% of the world population, with a significant genetic component among those who suffer from it. It has been claimed that certain cognitive abilities in the emotional, spatial and language fields may be affected in people with amusia.
Aim. To review the literature describing the effects on non-musical skills that may coexist in individuals with congenital amusia.
Development. Several neuroimaging studies have observed morphological and functional changes in the temporal lobe, as well as in the white matter connections between the superior temporal gyrus and the inferior frontal gyrus. From these affected regions, there may be a deficit in cognitive skills related to adjacent areas.
Conclusions. Congenital amusia has been associated with poor performance in different non-musical cognitive skills, such as visuospatial processing, language processing, reading difficulties, face recognition and emotional aspects.
Key words. Amusia. Cognitive neurology. Cognitive neuroscience. Congenital amusia. Neurobiology. Neuropsychology.