Laurel Trainor

Laurel Trainor
McMaster University | McMaster · Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour

PhD

About

249
Publications
119,411
Reads
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15,755
Citations
Citations since 2016
70 Research Items
7465 Citations
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Introduction
Founding director of the McMaster Institute for Music and the Mind. She has done groundbreaking neuroscience research on musical development in children and infants and her research spans perceptual, cognitive, and social aspects of pitch and rhythm.
Additional affiliations
January 2012 - present
Baycrest
January 1994 - December 2013
McMaster University
January 1989 - August 1992
University of Toronto

Publications

Publications (249)
Article
Full-text available
Recent research into how musicians coordinate their expressive timing, phrasing, articulation, dynamics, and other stylistic characteristics during performances has highlighted the role of predictive processes, as musicians must anticipate how their partners will play in order to be together. Several studies have used information flow techniques su...
Article
Full-text available
Humans are social animals who engage in a variety of collective activities requiring coordinated action. Among these, music is a defining and ancient aspect of human sociality. Human social interaction has largely been addressed in dyadic paradigms and it is yet to be determined whether the ensuing conclusions generalize to larger groups. Studied m...
Article
Full-text available
Does low frequency sound (bass) make people dance more? Music that makes people want to move tends to have more low frequency sound, and bass instruments typically provide the musical pulse that people dance to1. Low pitches confer advantages in perception and movement timing, and elicit stronger neural responses for timing compared to high pitches...
Preprint
Does low frequency sound (bass) make people dance more? Music that makes people want to move tends to have more low frequency sound, and bass instruments typically provide the musical pulse that people dance to1. Low pitches confer advantages in perception and movement timing, and elicit stronger neural responses for timing compared to high pitches...
Article
Full-text available
The ability to coordinate with others is fundamental for humans to achieve shared goals. Often, harmonious interpersonal coordination requires learning, such as ensemble musicians rehearing together to synchronize their low‐level timing and high‐level aesthetic musical expressions. We investigated how the coordination dynamics of a professional str...
Article
From auditory rhythm patterns, listeners extract the underlying steady beat, and perceptually group beats to form meters. While previous studies show infants discriminate different auditory meters, it remains unknown whether they can maintain (imagine) a metrical interpretation of an ambiguous rhythm through top‐down processes. We investigated this...
Article
Full-text available
Peer review aims to select articles for publication and to improve articles before publication. We believe that this process can be infused by kindness without losing rigor. In 2014, the founding editorial team of the Canadian Journal of Kidney Health and Disease (CJKHD) made an explicit commitment to treat authors as we would wish to be treated ou...
Article
The human auditory system excels at detecting patterns needed for processing speech and music. According to predictive coding, the brain predicts incoming sounds, compares predictions to sensory input, and generates a prediction error whenever a mismatch between the prediction and sensory input occurs. Predictive coding can be indexed in EEG with t...
Article
Full-text available
Aesthetic experience seems both regular and idiosyncratic. On one hand, there are powerful regularities in what we tend to find attractive versus unattractive (e.g., beaches versus mud puddles).1, 2, 3, 4 On the other hand, our tastes also vary dramatically from person to person:5, 6, 7, 8 what one of us finds beautiful, another might find distaste...
Article
Full-text available
An extensive literature has investigated the impact of musical training on cognitive skills and academic achievement in children and adolescents. However, most of the studies have relied on cross-sectional designs, which makes it impossible to elucidate whether the observed differences are a consequence of the engagement in musical activities. Prev...
Article
Full-text available
Background Dance is a mind-body activity of purposeful rhythmic movement to music. There is growing interest in using dance as a form of cognitive and physical rehabilitation. This manuscript describes the development of GERAS DANcing for Cognition and Exercise (DANCE) and evaluates its feasibility in older adults with cognitive and mobility impair...
Preprint
Both humans and some non-human animals (e.g., birds and primates) demonstrate bias toward simple integer ratios in auditory rhythms. In humans, biases are found for small integer-ratio rhythms in general. In addition, there are biases for the specific small integer-ratio rhythms common to one’s cultural listening experience. To better understand th...
Poster
Full-text available
Attention fluctuates over time. Models such as Dynamic Attending Theory propose that attention follows an oscillatory pattern that can be entrained by exogenous stimulations. Moreover, the passage of time itself when there is the certainty that the target will appear after an interval (i.e., foreperiod) can be used to support attention. As the prob...
Article
Full-text available
Rhythms are important for understanding coordinated behaviours in ecological systems. The repetitive nature of rhythms affords prediction, planning of movements and coordination of processes within and between individuals. A major challenge is to understand complex forms of coordination when they differ from complete synchronization. By expressing...
Article
Full-text available
Millions of children are impacted by neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs), which unfold early in life, have varying genetic etiologies and can involve a variety of specific or generalized impairments in social, cognitive and motor functioning requiring potentially lifelong specialized supports. While specific disorders vary in their domain of primar...
Article
Objective Developmental dyslexia is a reading disorder that features difficulties in perceiving and tracking rhythmic regularities in auditory streams, such as speech and music. Studies on typical healthy participants have shown that power fluctuations of neural oscillations in beta band (15–25 Hz) reflect an essential mechanism for tracking rhythm...
Article
The evolutionary origins of complex capacities such as musicality are not simple, and likely involved many interacting steps of musicality-specific adaptations, exaptations, and cultural creation. A full account of the origins of musicality needs to consider the role of ancient adaptations such as credible singing, auditory scene analysis, and pred...
Preprint
Full-text available
Humans are social animals who engage in a variety of collective activities requiring coordinated action. Among these, music is a defining and ancient aspect of human sociality. Social interaction has largely been studied in dyadic contexts. The presence of multiple agents engaged in the same task space creates different constraints and possibilitie...
Article
This review paper discusses rhythmic interactions and distinguishes them from non-rhythmic interactions. We report on communicative behaviours in social and sexual contexts, as found in dyads of humans, non-human primates, non-primate mammals, birds, anurans and insects. We discuss observed instances of rhythm in dyadic interactions, identify knowl...
Article
Full-text available
Anticipating the future is essential for efficient perception and action planning. Yet, the role of anticipation in event segmentation is understudied because empirical research has focused on retrospective cues such as surprise. We address this question in the context of musical phrase-boundary perception. A computational model of cognitive sequen...
Article
Anticipating the future is essential for efficient perception and action planning. Yet the role of anticipation in event segmentation is understudied because empirical research has focused on retrospective cues such as surprise. We address this concern in the context of perception of musical-phrase boundaries. A computational model of cognitive seq...
Article
Full-text available
Participation in extra-curricular activities has been found to associate with increased well-being. Here we investigated in a survey (n = 786) what activities university students at a Canadian university engaged in during the stressful COVID-19 pandemic lockdown in April, 2020, which coincided with a novel online exam period, and how these activiti...
Preprint
Full-text available
This review paper discusses rhythmic interactions and distinguishes them from non-rhythmic interactions. We report on communicative behaviours in social and sexual contexts, as found in dyads of humans, non-human primates, non-primate mammals, birds, anurans and insects. We discuss observed instances of rhythm in dyadic interactions, identify knowl...
Article
Objective The aim of this study was to determine the mechanisms by which Rhythmic Auditory Music Stimulation (RAMS) improves exercise among patients participating in cardiac rehabilitation. Methods 168 English speaking patients over the age of 18 years, were recruited from the Cardiac Rehabilitation and Prevention Program. Participants were random...
Article
Accurate time perception is crucial for hearing (speech, music) and action (walking, catching). Motor brain regions are recruited during auditory time perception. Therefore, the hypothesis was tested that children (age 6-7) at risk for developmental coordination disorder (rDCD), a neurodevelopmental disorder involving motor difficulties, would show...
Article
Full-text available
The regularity of musical beat makes it a powerful stimulus promoting movement synchrony among people. Synchrony can increase interpersonal trust, affiliation and cooperation. Musical pieces can be classified according to the quality of groove; the higher the groove, the more it induces the desire to move. We investigated questions related to colle...
Article
Full-text available
Human movements often spontaneously fall into synchrony with auditory and visual environmental rhythms. Related behavioral studies have shown that motor responses are automatically and unintentionally coupled with external rhythmic stimuli. However, the neurophysiological processes underlying such motor entrainment remain largely unknown. Here we i...
Article
Full-text available
Social bonding is fundamental to human society, and romantic interest involves an important type of bonding. Speed dating research paradigms offer both high external validity and experimental control for studying romantic interest in real-world settings. While previous studies focused on the effect of social and personality factors on romantic inte...
Article
Accurate perception and production of emotional states is important for successful social interactions across the lifespan. Previous research has shown that when identifying emotion in faces, preschool children are more likely to confuse emotions that share valence, but differ in arousal (e.g., sadness and anger) than emotions that share arousal, b...
Preprint
Full-text available
An extensive literature has investigated the impact of musical training on cognition and academic achievement in children and adolescents. However, most of the studies have relied on cross-sectional designs, which make it impossible to elucidate whether the observed differences are a consequence of the engagement in musical activities. Previous met...
Preprint
Infants typically experience music through social interactions with others. One such experience involves caregivers singing to infants while holding and bouncing them rhythmically. These highly social interactions shape infant music perception and may also influence social cognition and behavior. Moving in time with others-interpersonal synchrony-c...
Article
Full-text available
Psychological scientists have become increasingly concerned with issues related to methodology and replicability, and infancy researchers in particular face specific challenges related to replicability: For example, high-powered studies are difficult to conduct, testing conditions vary across labs, and different labs have access to different infant...
Article
Full-text available
Many foundational questions in the psychology of music require cross-cultural approaches, yet the vast majority of work in the field to date has been conducted with Western participants and Western music. For cross-cultural research to thrive, it will require collaboration between people from different disciplinary backgrounds, as well as strategie...
Article
Regular musical rhythms orient attention over time and facilitate processing. Previous research has shown that regular rhythmic stimulation benefits subsequent syntax processing in children with dyslexia and specific language impairment. The present EEG study examined the influence of a rhythmic musical prime on the P600 late evoked-potential, asso...
Preprint
Speed dating research paradigms offer both high external validity and experimental control for studying romantic interest, an essential form of social bonding. While previous studies focused on the effect of social and personality factors on romantic interest, the present study investigated whether romantic interest can be (1) predicted by dyadic i...
Article
Infants and children are able to track statistical regularities in perceptual input, which allows them to acquire structural aspects of language and music, such as syntax. However, much more is known about the development of linguistic compared to musical syntax. In the present study, we examined 3.5-year-olds’ implicit knowledge of Western musical...
Article
Full-text available
Previous studies indicate that temporal predictability can enhance timing and intensity perception, but it is not known whether it also enhances pitch perception, despite pitch being a fundamental perceptual attribute of sound. Here we investigate this in the context of rhythmic regularity, a form of predictable temporal structure common in sound s...
Article
Full-text available
Expert musicians use a number of expressive cues to communicate specific emotions in musical performance. In turn, listeners readily identify the intended emotions. Previous studies of cue utilization have studied the performances of expert or highly trained musicians, limiting the generalizability of the results. Here, we use a musical self-pacing...
Article
Full-text available
Joint action is essential in daily life, as humans often must coordinate with others to accomplish shared goals. Previous studies have mainly focused on sensorimotor aspects of joint action, with measurements reflecting event-to-event precision of interpersonal sensorimotor coordination (e.g., tapping). However, while emotional factors are often cl...
Article
Full-text available
A live music concert is a pleasurable social event that is among the most visceral and memorable forms of musical engagement. But what inspires listeners to attend concerts, sometimes at great expense, when they could listen to recordings at home? An iconic aspect of popular concerts is engaging with other audience members through moving to the mus...
Article
Full-text available
Humans process highly dynamic auditory information in real time, and regularities in stimuli such as speech and music can aid such processing by allowing sensory predictions for upcoming events. Auditory sequences contain information about both the identity of sounds (what) and their timing (when they occur). Temporal prediction in isochronous sequ...
Article
Full-text available
Time is an essential dimension for perceiving and processing auditory events, and for planning and producing motor behaviors. Developmental coordination disorder (DCD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder affecting 5–6% of children that is characterized by deficits in motor skills. Studies show that children with DCD have motor timing and sensorimotor...
Chapter
Full-text available
Beat perception is a cognitive ability that allows the detection of a regular pulse (or beat) in music and permits synchronous responding to this pulse during dancing and musical ensemble playing (Honing, 2013; Large & Palmer, 2002). Most people can recognize and reproduce a large number of rhythms, and they can move in synchrony to the beat by rhy...
Article
Full-text available
Infants typically experience music through social interactions with others. One such experience involves caregivers singing to infants while holding and bouncing them rhythmically. These highly social interactions shape infant music perception and may also influence social cognition and behavior. Moving in time with others—interpersonal synchrony—c...
Article
Full-text available
Infants use social cues to form expectations about the social relationships of others. For example, they expect agents to approach helpful partners and avoid hindering partners. They expect individuals with shared food preferences to be affiliates and individuals with opposing food preferences to be nonaffiliates. Interpersonal synchrony and asynch...
Article
Full-text available
Proper segmentation of auditory streams is essential for understanding music. Many cues, including meter, melodic contour, and harmony, influence adults’ perception of musical phrase boundaries. To date, no studies have examined young children’s musical grouping in a production task. We used a musical self-pacing method to investigate (1) whether d...
Article
Currently, the abstract only can be found here http://ries.revues.org/5949
Preprint
Proper segmentation of auditory streams is essential for understanding music. Many cues, including meter, melodic contour, and harmony, influence adults’ perception of musical phrase boundaries. To date, no studies have examined young children’s musical grouping in a production task. We used a musical self-pacing method to investigate (1) whether d...
Article
Full-text available
Significance People perform tasks in coordination with others in daily life, but the mechanisms are not well understood. Using Granger causality models to examine string quartet dynamics, we demonstrated that musicians assigned as leaders affect other performers more than musicians assigned as followers. These effects were present during performanc...
Article
Full-text available
Electroencephalography(EEG) largely reflects postsynaptic field potentials summed over many (hundreds of thousands of) neurons that are aligned in time and orientation. These electrical fields propagate in all directions such that determination of the sources of electrical fields measured at the surface of the head is much less accurate than locali...
Preprint
Full-text available
Previous work has shown that musicians tend to slow down as they approach phrase boundaries (phrase-final lengthening). In the present experiments, we used a paradigm from the action perception literature, the dwell time paradigm (Hard, Recchia, & Tversky, 2011), to investigate whether participants engage in phrase boundary lengthening when self-pa...
Article
Moving in synchrony with others encourages prosocial behavior. Adults who walk, sing, or tap together are later more likely to be cooperative, helpful, and rate each other as likeable. Our previous studies demonstrated that interpersonal synchrony encourages helpfulness even in 14-month-old infants. However, in those studies, infants always experie...
Article
Full-text available
Recent electrophysiological work has evinced a capacity for plasticity in subcortical auditory nuclei in human listeners. Similar plastic effects have been measured in cortically-generated auditory potentials but it is unclear how the two interact. Here we present Simultaneously-Evoked Auditory Potentials (SEAP), a method designed to concurrently e...
Article
We provide empirical evidence that the principles of auditory scene analysis and evolutionary theories of emotion are critical to a comprehensive theory of musical emotion. We interpret these data in light of a theoretical framework termed "the source dilemma hypothesis," which predicts that uncertainty in the number, identity or location of soun...
Article
Full-text available
ADULTS CAN EXTRACT THE UNDERLYING BEAT from music, and entrain their movements with that beat. Although infants and children are poor at synchronizing their movements to auditory stimuli, recent findings suggest they are perceptually sensitive to the beat. We examined five-year-old children's perceptual sensitivity to musical beat alignment (adapti...
Article
Full-text available
Adults can extract the underlying beat from music, and entrain their movements with that beat. Although infants and children are poor at synchronizing their movements to auditory stimuli, recent findings suggest they are perceptually sensitive to the beat. We examined five-year-old children's perceptual sensitivity to musical beat alignment (adapti...
Conference Paper
MisMatch Negativity (MMN) is a small event-related potential (ERP) that provide an index of sensory learning and perceptual accuracy for the cognitive research. Group-level analysis plays an important role for detecting differences at group or condition level, especially when the signal-to-noise ratio is low. Tensor factorization has provided a fra...
Article
Full-text available
Previous work has shown that musicians tend to slow down as they approach phrase boundaries (phrase-final lengthening). In the present experiments, we used a paradigm from the action perception literature, the dwell time paradigm (Hard, Recchia, & Tversky, 2011), to investigate whether participants engage in phrase boundary lengthening when self-pa...