Infants use meter to categorize rhythms and melodies: implications for musical structure learning.

Department of Psychology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA.
Cognitive Psychology (Impact Factor: 3.57). 07/2005; 50(4):354-77. DOI: 10.1016/j.cogpsych.2004.09.003
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Little is known about whether infants perceive meter, the underlying temporal structure of music. We employed a habituation paradigm to examine whether 7-month-old infants could categorize rhythmic and melodic patterns on the basis of the underlying meter, which was implied from event and accent frequency of occurrence. In Experiment 1, infants discriminated duple and triple classes of rhythm on the basis of implied meter. Experiment 2 replicated this result while controlling for rhythmic grouping structure, confirming that infants perceived metrical structure despite occasional ambiguities and conflicting group structure. In Experiment 3, infants categorized melodies on the basis of contingencies between metrical position and pitch. Infants presented with metrical melodies detected reversals of pitch/meter contingencies, while infants presented with non-metrical melodies showed no preference. Results indicate that infants can infer meter from rhythmic patterns, and that they may use this metrical structure to bootstrap their knowledge acquisition in music learning.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Cochlear implant users show a profile of residual, yet poorly understood, musical abilities. An ability that has received little to no attention in this population is entrainment to a musical beat. We show for the first time that a heterogeneous group of cochlear implant users is able to find the beat and move their bodies in time to Latin Merengue music, especially when the music is presented in unpitched drum tones. These findings not only reveal a hidden capacity for feeling musical rhythm through the body in the deaf and hearing impaired population, but illuminate promising avenues for designing early childhood musical training that can engage implanted children in social musical activities with benefits potentially extending to non-musical domains.
    Hearing Research 01/2015; 321. DOI:10.1016/j.heares.2014.12.007 · 2.85 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Adults who engage in synchronous movement to music later report liking each other better, remembering more about each other, trusting each other more, and are more likely to cooperate with each other compared to adults who engage in asynchronous movements. Although poor motor coordination limits infants' ability to entrain to a musical beat, they perceive metrical structure in auditory rhythm patterns, their movements are affected by the tempo of music they hear, and if they are bounced by an adult to a rhythm pattern, the manner of this bouncing can affect their auditory interpretation of the meter of that pattern. In this paper, we review studies showing that by 14 months of age, infants who are bounced in synchrony with an adult subsequently show more altruistic behavior toward that adult in the form of handing back objects "accidentally" dropped by the adult compared to infants who are bounced asynchronously with the adult. Furthermore, increased helpfulness is directed at the synchronized bounce partner, but not at a neutral stranger. Interestingly, however, helpfulness does generalize to a "friend" of the synchronized bounce partner. In sum, synchronous movement between infants and adults has a powerful effect on infants' expression of directed prosocial behavior. © 2014 New York Academy of Sciences.
    Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 03/2015; 1337(1). DOI:10.1111/nyas.12649 · 4.31 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show description] [Hide description]
    DESCRIPTION: The pitchdeaf population are not beatdeaf: forms of congenital amusia are dissociable.


Available from