An assessment tool for participant groupings for human neuroimaging research: measuring musical training

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Catheryn R. Shaw (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Jennifer Stewart Walter

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to develop an assessment tool to measure musical training and experiences for grouping participants in human neuroimaging research studies. To fulfill the purpose of this study, the researcher: 1. Completed a comprehensive review of the research literature to establish the essential content of the assessment tool; 2. Developed an assessment tool to survey subjects about their musical training and experiences; 3. Pilot tested the assessment tool, and revised the tool according to the preliminary analyses of the validity, reliability, and usefulness of the assessment tool; 4. Established the content validity and reliability of the assessment tool with subjects participating in a neuroimaging study designed to analyze the influences of musical training and experiences on brain structures and functions, and 5. Determined if the assessment tool functioned effectively in the selection and grouping of musically trained and musically untrained subjects for neuroimaging studies. The assessment tool was administered to a purposive sample (N = 42) in the southeastern region of the United States. Participants were recruited on the basis of musical training, both the existence and lack thereof. The assessment was completed via the web-based platform, Qualtrics. Coding of survey responses indicated differences in the participant pool that resulted in two groups: Musicians and Non-musicians. Further investigation yielded two subgroups within the Musician participant group: Moderate and Advanced. Validity of the assessment tool was established using a three-step construction process, (a) development of a draft based on the existing literature and the musical training knowledge of the researcher, (b) a review of the assessment tool by five music educators and performers, and (c) administration to a pilot group of five additional people with varying levels of musicianship. Additional content validity was completed by external reviewers by rating each assessment item using a Likert-type scale: 1 – Not important, 2 – Slightly important, 3 – Fairly important, 4 – Important, and 5 – Very important. Reliability was established using interrater reliability and was determined to be 88.9%. A discussion was presented that included the differences among participants that made their musical training and experiences unique compared with other participants. Implications were discussed regarding the usage possibilities for the survey, as well as the potential effects of the survey on human neuroimaging research.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2018
Assessment, Music, Tool
Musical ability $x Testing
Music $x Physiological aspects
Brain $x Magnetic resonance imaging
Cognitive neuroscience

Email this document to