Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Dr. Erika Skoe, Dr. Adam Sheya

Field of Study

Psychological Sciences


Master of Science

Open Access

Open Access


For a child learning spoken language, reading development is a complex cognitive process that relies on robust sensorineural processing of the speech signal to acquire phonological knowledge. Consequently, several authors have proposed that music training might enhance the sensorineural processing of speech, ultimately bolstering reading-related skills in children (Patel, 2011, 2014; Tallal & Gaab, 2006; Tierney & Kraus, 2013). Indeed, neural indices of auditory processing are related to reading ability in childhood, including typical & atypical readers, and, interestingly, in children with a history of music training (Tierney & Kraus, 2013). Collectively, these findings suggest that music training might facilitate literacy in young readers by enhancing the speech processing. However, to our knowledge, no authors have generated developmental predictions on how music training interacts with reading ability across the lifespan. Here, we investigated whether music training confers benefits to reading development that persist into adulthood. In cohorts of mature readers, we investigated whether neural indices of auditory processing and musical-training history related to participants’ performance on a behavioral battery of reading-related tasks. Analyses suggest that, even into adulthood, auditory processing and musical-training history are related to specific skills that subserve reading (e.g., rapid naming, phonological decoding, reading comprehension).

Major Advisor

Dr. Erika Skoe