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Congenital amusia is a neuro-developmental disorder that may affect the processing of both music pitch and lexical tone. In the present study, the just-noticeable differences (JNDs) of tone pitch contour change were examined for three groups of Mandarin-native listeners: amusics with (tone agnosics) and without lexical tone difficulties (pure amusics), and matched controls. Tone agnosics showed significantly larger JNDs than normal controls, while pure amusics performed comparably with the controls. These results suggest that only those amusics with behavioral lexical tone deficits might be psychophysically impaired in pitch contour discrimination.


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