The role of executive control in rhythmic timing at different tempi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We investigated the role of attention and executive control in rhythmic timing, using a dual-task paradigm. The main task was a finger tapping task in which participants were asked to tap their index finger in time with metronome sequences. The tempo of the sequences ranged from 600 ms to 3000 ms between each beat. The distractor task, chosen so as to engage executive control processes, was a novel covert n-back task. When the tempo was slow, simultaneous performance of the tapping and n-back tasks resulted in significant performance degradation in both tasks. There was also some dual-task interference at the fast tempo levels, however, the magnitude of the interference was much smaller in comparison. The results suggests that, when the tempo is sufficiently slow, performing rhythmic timing demands attentional resources and executive control. This accords with models of time perception that assume that different timing mechanisms are recruited at different time scales. It also accords with models that assume a dedicated mechanism for rhythm perception and where rhythm perception is assumed to have a slower limit.

Details

Authors
Organisations
External organisations
  • Lund University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Neurosciences
  • Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)

Keywords

  • Executive function, Finger tapping, Rhythm perception, Sensorimotor synchronization, Tempo
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1954-1960
Number of pages7
JournalPsychonomic Bulletin & Review
Volume23
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Dec 1
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes

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