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    Individual differences in rhythmic skills: links with neural consistency and linguistic ability

    Tierney, Adam and White-Schwoch, T. and MacLean, J. and Kraus, N. (2017) Individual differences in rhythmic skills: links with neural consistency and linguistic ability. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 29 (5), pp. 855-868. ISSN 0898-929X.

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    Durational patterns provide cues to linguistic structure, and so variations in rhythm skills may have consequences for language development. Understanding individual differences in rhythm skills, therefore, could help explain variability in language ability across the population. We investigated the neural foundations of rhythmic proficiency and its relation to language skills in young adults. We hypothesized that rhythmic abilities can be characterized by at least two constructs, which are tied to independent language abilities and neural profiles. Specifically, we hypothesized that rhythm skills that require integration of information across time rely upon the consistency of slow, low-frequency auditory processing, which we measured using the evoked cortical response. On the other hand, we hypothesized that rhythm ic skills that require fine temporal precision rely upon the consistency of fast, higher-frequency auditory processing, which we measured using the frequency following response. Performance on rhythm tests aligned with two constructs: rhythm sequencing and synchronization. Rhythm sequencing and synchronization were linked to the consistency of slow cortical and fast frequency-following responses, respectively. Furthermore, while rhythm sequencing ability was linked to verbal memory, reading, and nonverbal auditory temporal processing, synchronization ability was linked only tononverbal auditory temporal processing. Thus, rhythm perception at different time scales reflects distinct abilities, which rely on distinct auditory neural resources. In young adults slow rhythmic processing makes the more extensive contribution to language skill.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Rhythm, language, auditory
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Adam Tierney
    Date Deposited: 26 Jan 2017 13:18
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:29


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