Neural entrainment to the rhythmic structure of music

Adam Tierney*, Nina Kraus

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

40 Scopus citations

Abstract

The neural resonance theory of musical meter explains musical beat tracking as the result of entrainment of neural oscillations to the beat frequency and its higher harmonics. This theory has gained empirical support from experiments using simple, abstract stimuli. However, to date there has been no empirical evidence for a role of neural entrainment in the perception of the beat of ecologically valid music. Here we presented participants with a single pop song with a superimposed bassoon sound. This stimulus was either lined up with the beat of the music or shifted away from the beat by 25% of the average interbeat interval. Both conditions elicited a neural response at the beat frequency. However, although the on-thebeat condition elicited a clear response at the first harmonic of the beat, this frequency was absent in the neural response to the off-the-beat condition. These results support a role for neural entrainment in tracking the metrical structure of real music and show that neural meter tracking can be disrupted by the presentation of contradictory rhythmic cues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)400-408
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of cognitive neuroscience
Volume27
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Neural entrainment to the rhythmic structure of music'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this