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Delayed tapping experiment

Delayed tapping experiment

Name:Jacqueline Chen

School/Affiliation:McMaster University

Co-Authors:Dr. Jonathan Cannon

Virtual or In-person:In-person


Following and temporally anticipating events in a rhythmic stream is vital for coordinating movements and interacting with our environment to perform certain tasks adequately. However, it is unclear how our movement influences our ability to keep rhythmic time. To investigate the relationship between movement and time-keeping abilities and whether the former biases the latter, we studied the process by which people identify and anticipate a steady pulse in an auditory rhythm and use it to guide synchronized movement. Our experiment recruited undergraduate McMaster students with at least 2 years of musical practice and unimpaired hearing. Participants tapped along to a sequence of 7 beats with manipulated timing in the last two beats, and judged the timing of the last beat which they did not tap to as 'early' or 'late’ while rating their confidence. Collected data was analyzed to examine the effects of temporal shifts and tapping on timing judgments. Based on previous literature, we expected that tapping would alter the precision and the bias of participants’ predictions of when the next note in the series is likely to occur: we expected timing judgements when tapping to be less biased by second-to-last note timing. As suggested, the data showed increased precision and perception of precision in tapping trials, regardless of shift in the second-last beat. Interestingly, participants made more “early” judgments while tapping. This implies that rhythmic time perception is indeed affected by entrained movement and these findings can help begin to characterize those effects.

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