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Open AccessArticle

Poor Synchronization to Musical Beat Generalizes to Speech

1
International Laboratory for Brain, Music, and Sound Research, Montreal, QC H3C 3J7, Canada
2
Department of Psychology, University of Montreal, Montreal, QC H3C 3J7, Canada
3
Department of Psychology, McGill University, Montreal, QC H3A 1B1, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
This paper is part of Marie-Élaine Lagrois’s PhD thesis—Étude de la modularité de la synchronisation à la pulsation musicale: synchronisation sensorimotrice dans l’amusie congénitale, from the Department of Psychology, University of Montreal, delivered in August 2018.
Brain Sci. 2019, 9(7), 157; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci9070157
Received: 17 June 2019 / Accepted: 1 July 2019 / Published: 4 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Neurocognition of Music and Language)
The rhythmic nature of speech may recruit entrainment mechanisms in a manner similar to music. In the current study, we tested the hypothesis that individuals who display a severe deficit in synchronizing their taps to a musical beat (called beat-deaf here) would also experience difficulties entraining to speech. The beat-deaf participants and their matched controls were required to align taps with the perceived regularity in the rhythm of naturally spoken, regularly spoken, and sung sentences. The results showed that beat-deaf individuals synchronized their taps less accurately than the control group across conditions. In addition, participants from both groups exhibited more inter-tap variability to natural speech than to regularly spoken and sung sentences. The findings support the idea that acoustic periodicity is a major factor in domain-general entrainment to both music and speech. Therefore, a beat-finding deficit may affect periodic auditory rhythms in general, not just those for music. View Full-Text
Keywords: beat deafness; music; speech; entrainment; sensorimotor synchronization; beat-finding impairment; brain oscillations beat deafness; music; speech; entrainment; sensorimotor synchronization; beat-finding impairment; brain oscillations
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Lagrois, M.-É.; Palmer, C.; Peretz, I. Poor Synchronization to Musical Beat Generalizes to Speech. Brain Sci. 2019, 9, 157.

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