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Tapping to a slow tempo in the presence of simple and complex meters reveals experience-specific biases for processing music.

Ullal-Gupta S, Hannon EE, Snyder JS - PLoS ONE (2014)

Bottom Line: In Experiment 1, we compared American and Indian listeners' synchronous tapping to slow sequences.Here, compared with simple meters, complex-meter rhythms elicited larger asynchronies that declined at a slower rate, however, asynchronies increased after the switch for all conditions.Our results provide evidence that ease of meter processing depends to a great extent on the amount of experience with specific meters.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of Nevada Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
Musical meters vary considerably across cultures, yet relatively little is known about how culture-specific experience influences metrical processing. In Experiment 1, we compared American and Indian listeners' synchronous tapping to slow sequences. Inter-tone intervals contained silence or to-be-ignored rhythms that were designed to induce a simple meter (familiar to Americans and Indians) or a complex meter (familiar only to Indians). A subset of trials contained an abrupt switch from one rhythm to another to assess the disruptive effects of contradicting the initially implied meter. In the unfilled condition, both groups tapped earlier than the target and showed large tap-tone asynchronies (measured in relative phase). When inter-tone intervals were filled with simple-meter rhythms, American listeners tapped later than targets, but their asynchronies were smaller and declined more rapidly. Likewise, asynchronies rose sharply following a switch away from simple-meter but not from complex-meter rhythm. By contrast, Indian listeners performed similarly across all rhythm types, with asynchronies rapidly declining over the course of complex- and simple-meter trials. For these listeners, a switch from either simple or complex meter increased asynchronies. Experiment 2 tested American listeners but doubled the duration of the synchronization phase prior to (and after) the switch. Here, compared with simple meters, complex-meter rhythms elicited larger asynchronies that declined at a slower rate, however, asynchronies increased after the switch for all conditions. Our results provide evidence that ease of meter processing depends to a great extent on the amount of experience with specific meters.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Mean relative phase for unfilled, duple, triple, and complex baseline sequences for Americans and Indians in Experiment 1.Error bars denote between-subject standard error.
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pone-0102962-g004: Mean relative phase for unfilled, duple, triple, and complex baseline sequences for Americans and Indians in Experiment 1.Error bars denote between-subject standard error.

Mentions: For statistical analyses, we excluded the first two taps, when subjects were initially finding the beat [45], as well as the last two taps, to equalize number of data points before and after the switch. Mean relative phase over tap positions 3–8 was calculated for each sequence type (Figure 4) and submitted to a 4×2 (Sequence [unfilled, duple, triple, complex] within-subjects, x Nationality [Indian, American] between subjects) mixed-design ANOVA, with Music Training (in years) entered as a covariate. Since the Indian group had more music training than the American group, using music training as a covariate allowed us to control for its potential contribution to group effects. This analysis yielded main effects of Sequence, F(3,97) = 54.30, p<.001, ηp2 = .35, with unfilled trials having a significantly larger (in magnitude) relative phase (M = −13.40, SD = 17.16) than any of the filled trials (M<3.02, SD<9.67). Unfilled trials showed a negative (anticipatory) relative phase, whereas filled trials showed a positive (reactive) relative phase value. There was also a significant main effect of Music Training, F(1,99) = 5.09, p<.05, ηp2 = .049. Simple correlations showed that mean relative phase and years of music training were negatively correlated for duple, r(102) = .23, p<.05, triple, r(102) = .37, p<.01, and complex, r(102) = .37, p<.01 sequences, but uncorrelated for unfilled sequences, r(102) = .02, p = .83. Thus, those with more music training tended to tap closer to the targets, at least during filled trials.


Tapping to a slow tempo in the presence of simple and complex meters reveals experience-specific biases for processing music.

Ullal-Gupta S, Hannon EE, Snyder JS - PLoS ONE (2014)

Mean relative phase for unfilled, duple, triple, and complex baseline sequences for Americans and Indians in Experiment 1.Error bars denote between-subject standard error.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4116158&req=5

pone-0102962-g004: Mean relative phase for unfilled, duple, triple, and complex baseline sequences for Americans and Indians in Experiment 1.Error bars denote between-subject standard error.
Mentions: For statistical analyses, we excluded the first two taps, when subjects were initially finding the beat [45], as well as the last two taps, to equalize number of data points before and after the switch. Mean relative phase over tap positions 3–8 was calculated for each sequence type (Figure 4) and submitted to a 4×2 (Sequence [unfilled, duple, triple, complex] within-subjects, x Nationality [Indian, American] between subjects) mixed-design ANOVA, with Music Training (in years) entered as a covariate. Since the Indian group had more music training than the American group, using music training as a covariate allowed us to control for its potential contribution to group effects. This analysis yielded main effects of Sequence, F(3,97) = 54.30, p<.001, ηp2 = .35, with unfilled trials having a significantly larger (in magnitude) relative phase (M = −13.40, SD = 17.16) than any of the filled trials (M<3.02, SD<9.67). Unfilled trials showed a negative (anticipatory) relative phase, whereas filled trials showed a positive (reactive) relative phase value. There was also a significant main effect of Music Training, F(1,99) = 5.09, p<.05, ηp2 = .049. Simple correlations showed that mean relative phase and years of music training were negatively correlated for duple, r(102) = .23, p<.05, triple, r(102) = .37, p<.01, and complex, r(102) = .37, p<.01 sequences, but uncorrelated for unfilled sequences, r(102) = .02, p = .83. Thus, those with more music training tended to tap closer to the targets, at least during filled trials.

Bottom Line: In Experiment 1, we compared American and Indian listeners' synchronous tapping to slow sequences.Here, compared with simple meters, complex-meter rhythms elicited larger asynchronies that declined at a slower rate, however, asynchronies increased after the switch for all conditions.Our results provide evidence that ease of meter processing depends to a great extent on the amount of experience with specific meters.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of Nevada Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
Musical meters vary considerably across cultures, yet relatively little is known about how culture-specific experience influences metrical processing. In Experiment 1, we compared American and Indian listeners' synchronous tapping to slow sequences. Inter-tone intervals contained silence or to-be-ignored rhythms that were designed to induce a simple meter (familiar to Americans and Indians) or a complex meter (familiar only to Indians). A subset of trials contained an abrupt switch from one rhythm to another to assess the disruptive effects of contradicting the initially implied meter. In the unfilled condition, both groups tapped earlier than the target and showed large tap-tone asynchronies (measured in relative phase). When inter-tone intervals were filled with simple-meter rhythms, American listeners tapped later than targets, but their asynchronies were smaller and declined more rapidly. Likewise, asynchronies rose sharply following a switch away from simple-meter but not from complex-meter rhythm. By contrast, Indian listeners performed similarly across all rhythm types, with asynchronies rapidly declining over the course of complex- and simple-meter trials. For these listeners, a switch from either simple or complex meter increased asynchronies. Experiment 2 tested American listeners but doubled the duration of the synchronization phase prior to (and after) the switch. Here, compared with simple meters, complex-meter rhythms elicited larger asynchronies that declined at a slower rate, however, asynchronies increased after the switch for all conditions. Our results provide evidence that ease of meter processing depends to a great extent on the amount of experience with specific meters.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus