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Benjamin R Zendel, Bernhard Ross, and Takako Fujioka (2011)

The effects of stimulus rate and tapping rate on tapping performance

Music Perception: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 29:65-78.

When finger taps are synchronized with an isochronous click, it is known that tap-click asynchrony and its variability increase with the interonset interval (IOI). It remains unclear whether these results are due to the IOI or the intertap interval (ITI) duration. The present study examines how these two factors influence tapping performance by altering the tap-click ratio (i.e., 1:n tapping). It has been shown that holding the ITI constant while decreasing the IOI—so that extra clicks subdivide each tap—results in a reduction of tapping variability, described as a subdivision benefit (Repp, 2003). Two questions remain: Does asynchrony and variability increase with the ITI while holding the IOI constant? Does asynchrony decrease with the IOI while holding ITI constant? Using linear regression, both asynchrony and variability decreased with the IOI, with little additional effect of ITI. In contrast, when using ITI as a predictor, the contribution of IOI was significant, suggesting that IOI is the main determinant of tapping performance. In addition, an ANOVA revealed a disadvantage for 1:3 tapping, supporting a categorical distinction between duple and triple meters since 1:n tapping can engender the subjective feel of different metric structures. 

stimulus, music perception, tapping