Examining movement-rhythm synchronization and effects of syncopation in children’s dancing
Presenter Name:Maya Psaris
Co-Authors:Dr. Daniel Cameron, Dr. Laurel Trainor
The ability to synchronize body movements to musical rhythms develops during childhood. Previous research suggests that infants are predisposed to move to the rhythmic components of music—although they do not tend to synchronize to the beat—and children’s synchronization to rhythms improves with age. Most studies of children have investigated synchronization using tapping, rather than a more natural behaviour like dancing, which may be more likely to reveal synchronization abilities. We also do not know whether syncopation may affect children’s synchronization. Here, we recorded videos of 3- to 6-year-old children dancing to rhythms that varied in syncopation. We are tracking and measuring the children’s movements using Deeplabcut, a program for estimating 2D markerless pose. Our ongoing analyses use wavelet transforms to assess the frequency content of dance movements. Movements at the rate of the beat indicate a tendency to synchronize, and we will compare synchronization in terms of effects of age (3-6 years old), syncopation (low, medium, and high), and body part (head, shoulders, hands, feet). We expect the results to reveal new insights into the development of synchronization abilities and the syncopation-groove relationship. Preliminary data from 10 participants will be presented.