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You are here: McMaster Institute for Music and the Mind > Publications > Two different processes for sensorimotor synchronization in continuous and discontinuous rhythmic movements

Kjerstin Torre and Ramesh Balasubramaniam (2009)

Two different processes for sensorimotor synchronization in continuous and discontinuous rhythmic movements

Experimental Brain Research, 199:157-166.

To account for sensorimotor synchronization, the information processing and the dynamical systems perspectives have developed different classes of models. While the former has focused on cycle-to-cycle correction of the timing errors, the latter deals with a continuous, state-dependent within-cycle coupling between the oscillating limb and the metronome. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the extent to which the two modeling frameworks partially capture the same behavior or, instead, account for different aspects of synchronization. A comparative twolevel analysis (time intervals and movement trajectories) of synchronized tapping and synchronized oscillation data revealed distinct patterns of results with regard to (1) the relationship between the (a)symmetry of movement cycles and the achievement of timing goals, and (2) the sequential or within-cycle organization of synchronization processes. Our results support the idea that movement trajectories contribute to the achievement of synchronized movement timing in two different ways as a function of the (dis)continuous nature of movement. We suggest that the two modeling frameworks indeed account for different synchronization processes involved in the process of keeping time with the beat.

timing, synchronization, rhythm, motor