This work was supported by a grant from Shalem Fund.
The main goal of the current study was to examine the developmental trajectories of musical aptitude (tonal and rhythmic) among individuals with non-specific intellectual disability (ID), compared to individuals with typical development (TD) in two age cohorts: older adolescence (17-21) and young adulthood (25-40). Musical aptitude was examined in light of three possible developmental trajectories of intelligence and cognitive ability in the population with ID: Impaired, Stable or Continuous (Compensatory) Trajectory. Another goal was to examine the association between crystallized and fluid intelligence, phonologic and visual-spatial working memory, episodic memory and musical aptitude.
In both study groups a stable trajectory was maintained from adolescence to adulthood in fluid intelligence and musical aptitude; In both, fluid intelligence was found to contribute to the explanation of variance in musical aptitude. In the population with ID, Backward Spatial Span and Total Learning (episodic memory) contributed to the explanation of variance; In the population with TD, the gender (background variable) contributed to the explanation of the variance. The contribution of fluid intelligence and memory to the explanation of variance in musical aptitude, indicates the importance of using the musical channel as a basis for the development of visual-spatial, motor, temporal and verbal skills in the population with ID.
Keywords: musical aptitude, crystallized intelligence, fluid intelligence, working memory, episodic memory, intellectual disability, typical development, developmental trajectories, Shalem Fund study
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